The summer solstice is just hours away and the official start of astronomical summer has promised to sweep in searing heat across a wide swath of the United States.
“Uncomfortable” heat was rolling in Monday around the Great Lakes through the Mississippi River Valley and into the Plains and portions of the Southeast, AccuWeather said. Minneapolis was forecast to hit triple digit heat Monday. Central Minnesota was bracing for a heat index of 106 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Extreme heat and humidity will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities,” the National Weather Service warned. “The heat may also result in some roads buckling.”
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The heat will ease into Tuesday, and the weather service warned of possible storms that could bring damaging winds and large hail.
Tuesday will provide no respite in Chicago, where the Windy City will welcome summer with a high temperature forecast at 98 degrees. St. Louis was forecast to reach 99 degrees, and Milwaukee was facing 97 degrees and a heat index that could reach 105.
All this comes after days of sweltering, record breaking heat across the region — Grand Forks, North Dakota, reached 100 degrees, breaking Sunday’s high temperature record of 96 set in 1995.
Blame the “heat dome” that will trap heat in the south-central U.S. this week, AccuWeather said. The same bubble of intense heat is expected to slide into the Mississippi Delta region toward the end of the week.
Gulf Coast cities such as New Orleans could record a 5- to 10-degree spike in high temperatures. The record highs of 101 set in 2009 and 97 set in 2016 could be challenged Friday and Saturday, AccuWeather said.
“While temperatures and humidity levels ease a bit for the end of the week in parts of the Midwest, more dangerous temperatures and humidity will return by the upcoming weekend,” AccuWeather senior meteorologist DeVore said.
On the East Coast, temperatures will heat up in coming days after seeing wildly cool readings over the weekend — Canaan Valley, West Virginia, bottomed out at 25 degrees on Sunday morning, AccuWeather reported. Waverly, New York, checked in at 32 degrees.
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It would not be summer in the East without humidity, and after a respite of several days it’s making its sweltering return.
“Although cities such as Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City will be turning warmer to start the week, the most notable change in the weather pattern by midweek will be the increase in moisture,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.
Parts of Europe also are facing extreme heat. Spain has been on alert for an outbreak of intense wildfires as the country swelters under record June temperatures. Thermometers have risen above 104 degrees Fahrenheit in many Spanish cities throughout the week.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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