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Memorial Day Weekend Heat Wave Could Smash May Records in the Southeast
Published: May 17, 2019
A heat wave will intensify in the Southeast next week, likely lasting at least through Memorial Day weekend, potentially threatening all-time May record highs in parts of Florida, Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas.
While it's already quite warm in the South, temperatures will go up another notch beginning around the middle of next week.
High pressure aloft will strengthen over the Southeast, diverting the jet stream to the north and minimizing any chance of a cold front passage.
Sinking, dry air across the Southeast will lead to plenty of sunshine, allowing heat to build and intensify next week. Dry soil from one of the nation's few areas of drought will only allow the ground to heat up more efficiently.
Highs in the mid-upper 90s can be expected by the middle of next week from parts of the Carolinas to Georgia, Alabama, and north Florida, lasting through the Memorial Day weekend.
Heat Wave Outlook
Some locations away from the Gulf and Atlantic beaches may even see triple-digit heat, at times, late next week into the Memorial Day weekend.
This searing heat may not only top daily record highs, but record highs for the entire month of May. Here are some cities that may flirt with all-time monthly record highs that have stood since at least the mid-20th century:
-Atlanta, Georgia (May record: 97 degrees on May 29, 1941)
-Charlotte, North Carolina (May record: 98 degrees on May 22, 23, and 29, 1941)
-Montgomery, Alabama (May record: 99 degrees on May 27, 1916)
-Tallahassee, Florida (May record: 102 degrees on May 27, 1953)
Both Macon, Georgia, and Montgomery, Alabama, may see their first May triple-digit high in records dating to 1892 and 1872.
Keep this all in mind if you have plans to head to the beach, a park, a Memorial Day observance, or simply plan to hang out on your patio over the holiday weekend.
Minimize your time outdoors during the hottest times of day, typically from late morning through late afternoon. Drink plenty of liquids and wear light, loose-fitting clothing if you must be outside for longer periods of time.
Heat is one of America's biggest weather killers. The longevity of a heat wave can be as dangerous as the magnitude of the heat itself. Check on friends and family that may not have access to air conditioning.
The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.