The big warm-up sweeping the eastern two-thirds of the country this week will reach its peak today through Friday, depending on location.
In some places, temperatures will challenge records that go back more than 100 years. Records were already broken Tuesday in parts of Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, Texas and Nevada.
As the warmth spreads north and eastward from the Southwest and Gulf Coast region, highs in the 70s are forecast all the way north into parts of Kansas, Arkansas, the Carolinas, Virginia and Maryland.
Some areas of Texas have already been warming into the 80s this week, and soon portions of Florida will join them.
While people farther north across the Midwest and Northeast will not experience this kind of warmth just yet, temperatures will still be rising well above normal and even challenging records in some cases.
The following is a list of cities where temperatures are forecast to rise within 3 or 4 degrees of the record high for the date, which is given in parenthesis. Today: -El Paso, Texas (79° last set in 1904) -Lubbock, Texas (79° last set in 1959) -Amarillo, Texas (77° last set in 1959) -Midland, Texas (81° last set in 2006) -Roswell, N.M.* (80° last set in 1959) -Carlsbad, N.M.* (79° last set in 1958) -Clovis, N.M. (78° last set in 2000) -Dodge City, Kan. (74° last set in 1961) -North Platte, Neb. (66° last set in 1981) -Rapid City, S.D.* (62° last set in 1916)
*Temperatures are predicted to rise near record levels in Roswell and Carlsbad, N.M., several more days this week. Rapid City, S.D., already set a record Tuesday with a high of 67°.
Thursday: -Chicago, Ill. (60° last set in 1880) -Peoria, Ill. (64° last set in 1890) -South Bend, Ind. (53° last set in 1994) -Paducah, Ky. (70° last set in 1986) -Kansas City, Mo. (72° last set in 1970) -Wichita, Kan. (75° last set in 1970)
Friday: -Philadelphia, Pa. (69° last set in 1991) -Washington Dulles Int'l. Airport, Va. (73° last set in 1981) -Roanoke, Va. (72° last set in 1971) -Raleigh, N.C. (75° last set in 1948) -Asheville, N.C. (71° last set in 1948) -Greensboro, N.C. (71° last set in 2008) -Little Rock, Ark. (75° last set in 2005)
The warmth will continue causing a rapid decline in snow cover from the Upper Midwest into the Great Lakes and Northeast.
Since temperatures started rebounding this past weekend, snow cover across the contiguous U.S. has already decreased from about 65 percent last Thursday to roughly 29 percent Wednesday of this week.
AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski released an outlook Monday on the threat for flooding with the thaw.
Details on how long the warm-up will last can be found in this AccuWeather.com news story.
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