Record heat to the East Coast with temperatures approaching 100

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A major heat wave that has ravaged Texas with historically high May temperatures is swelling toward the Ohio Valley and the East Coast, where highs are expected to catapult above peak summer levels through Sunday .

The abnormally hot weather – arriving more than a month before the summer solstice – is a worrying signal of the effects of human-induced climate change, which is increasing the intensity, frequency and duration of heat waves and prolonging the summer conditions deeper in spring and spring. grave.

Every season except summer is getting shorter, a sign of trouble for people and the environment

By Saturday, temperatures are expected to climb into the 90s for millions of people along the heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor from Richmond to Boston. Scorching temperatures – about 20 degrees above normal – combined with moderately high humidity will increase the risk of heat-related illnesses.

When the heat peaks on Saturday, dozens of daily records are predicted; a few locations in the northeast could record their highest temperature on record in May and their hottest weather on record this early in the calendar year. Some locations in the northeast interior could see temperatures higher than they typically see for an entire summer.

Heat advisories are in effect for much of the Acela Corridor in the Northeast, including Philadelphia, Newark, parts of the New York Metro, Hartford, Conn., Providence, RI and Boston, where indices of heat – reflecting the heat it does take into account in the temperature and humidity of the air – could vary between 100 and 105 degrees. It’s the first heat warning issued during the month of May by the National Weather Service in New York dating from at least 2006; the same goes for the Boston office.

The warm weather coincides with a busy weekend for outdoor activities, including plenty of back-to-school and the 147th running of the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, where records in the mid-to-high 90s are expected.

The first instance of excessive heat is often the most dangerous because people are not yet acclimatized to high temperatures. Outdoor workers, the elderly, young children, and people without access to air conditioning are most vulnerable to heat-related illnesses.

“The abrupt onset of warm temperatures early in the season after a relatively cool spring leads to an increased risk of heat-related illnesses unless proper precautions are taken,” wrote the National Weather Service serving Washington and Baltimore in a special statement. “Reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Plan to wear light, loose clothing and try to protect yourself from the sun. Plan frequent breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments.

DC could see the hottest May weather in at least a decade on Saturday

A staggering 125 million Americans are expected to experience temperatures above 90 degrees over the next few days. Already heat has been building up in the southern United States, the product of descending air, high pressure and a west-to-east “zonal” jet stream that has allowed toasty temperatures to climb north.

Parts of central Texas exceeded 105 degrees on Thursday, and the mid to upper 90s were pervasive in the south. Dallas is having its hottest May on record so far, and Abilene has had a record number of 100-degree days during the month. San Antonio has recorded more 100-degree days in May than all of last summer.

Now airflow ahead of a band of low pressure approaching the Midwest and the Ohio Valley will allow soaring temperatures to soar over the East Coast, with coastal 90s from the Gulf of Florida to northern Vermont and the Canadian border.

The heat will peak on Saturday before being channeled into the immediate corridor of Interstate 95 ahead of a cold front on Sunday. By Monday, highs of around 15 to 20 degrees cooler – more in line with seasonal norms – will return.

Monthly records threatened in New England

In Boston, a high of 91 degrees is forecast for Saturday and 94 degrees on Sunday. But just a few miles inland in the Merrimack Valley, peaks could hit the upper 90s. It is not excluded that with westerly winds and downward sloping air, one or two places could reach 100 degrees. Downslope is the process by which air descending from a high altitude to a low altitude compresses and heats up, dries out and heats up further.

That will likely set a Boston record for Sunday, where the current number to beat is 93 degrees, set in 1959.

Hartford is expected to hit 97 or 98 degrees on Saturday and 96 on Sunday. This will crush daily records if achieved and threaten an all-time monthly record of 99, last set in 2010. The average high for mid-to-late May is 73 degrees.

Average high temperatures during May in Hartford have risen 1.5 degrees since 1950, and 90-degree days are nearly twice as common, boosted by human-caused climate change.

Worcester, Mass., is expected to break its monthly record two days in a row. Since accounting began in 1892, the city has not exceeded 94 in the month of May. It should reach 97 on Saturday and 97 on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the New York metro area will see highs climb into the upper 90s just west of the city on Saturday and Sunday. Central Park could be hovering around 91 degrees, below the records of 93 and 96 for Saturday and Sunday, respectively, that have stood since 1996.

Mid-Atlantic, southeast to sizzle

In DC, a high of 94 is expected for Friday and 96 on Saturday. Sunday will be a hair cooler, probably in the lower 90s. Saturday’s reading could hit a record high and, if it hits 97 degrees, become the hottest temperature seen in DC so early in the year.

Philadelphia also has a strong chance of breaking its record 95 on Saturday.

In the southeast, upper 90s are expected on Friday, with some 100 degree readings possible in central North Carolina. Even on the beaches, Wilmington, NC could reach 95 degrees. The mid upper 90s will fill most of the Gulf Coast states and reach all the way west to Texas.

Temperatures will finally drop after this weekend, as a strong cold front crosses the region.

The same front brings snow to Denver after a day that peaked around 90 degrees and triggers areas of severe thunderstorms across the central United States.

Signs point to further warming in the middle of next week.

Jason Samenow contributed to this report.

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