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When will the central US catch a break from oppressive heat?

By By Renee Duff, meteorologist
July 22, 2016, 2:44:22 AM EDT

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As the central United States endures a dangerous heat wave this week, many may be wondering when the stifling conditions will end.

Notable drops in heat and humidity will occur across the north-central U.S. this weekend. However, heat and humidity will continue to hold strong across the south-central U.S. into the final week of July.

Before any relief arrives, locations along an approximate 1,500-mile swath from the Dakotas to Texas will endure stifling heat and humidity through the remainder of the week.


It will be the hottest weather of the summer so far in the entire central U.S., according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

Highs from the upper 90s F to the mid-100s, which is about 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit above average in most areas, will be common by the end of the week.

High humidity levels and generally sunny skies will send AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures soaring toward 110 in some locations.


Residents and visitors are reminded to take the extreme heat seriously. Failing to take the necessary precautions can result in a heat-related illness or worse.

The expansive area of high pressure which is causing the heat wave will weaken as a front crosses the Upper Midwest this weekend, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Matt Rinde. Temperatures and humidity levels will then fall across the northern tier.

Areas where heat and humidity levels will be sliced on either Saturday or Sunday include Minneapolis; Grand Forks and Fargo, North Dakota; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Des Moines, Iowa; and Chicago.

The most noticeable cooling is forecast to take place across Minnesota and the Dakotas, where highs will drop by 10-15 degrees, Rinde explained.

Lower humidity will keep RealFeel® Temperatures within a few degrees of the actual temperature.

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Meanwhile, relief from the heat will be slower to come by across the South Central states.

“Farther south, the area of high pressure will remain dominant and allow the heat and humidity to keep going [through the weekend],” Rinde stated.

Oppressive conditions will also begin to expand eastward into portions of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic this weekend.

It may take until early next week for temperatures to drop closer to average in places like Wichita, Kansas; Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri; Little Rock, Arkansas; Oklahoma City and Dallas.

By next Tuesday, temperatures in the low to mid-90s will be more common than the widespread 100s this week.

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