Relief From Heat in Sight for the Southeast

Posted: May 27, 2021 10:33 am

While the heat is going to hang on for a few more days in the Southeast, the region should begin to feel relief over the Memorial Day weekend.

The Heat Has Been On

It has been an unseasonably warm week in the Southeast. Temperatures have been soaring into the middle 90s in many regions with humidity levels bringing the real feel even higher. Some areas have seen records nearly fall as the mercury continues its upward climb. Real feel levels are expected to peak by the end of the week, with some areas seeing the readings top 100 degrees. However, relief is on the way for those getting tired of this May heatwave.

When and Where Will the Cooldown Happen

The first wave of cooler air will hit Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia beginning early Thursday. This cooler air mass will drop temperatures approximately 10 degrees from the daytime highs earlier in the week. A second wave of cool air will be more noticeable, making its way into the region beginning this weekend. A dip in the jet stream paired with strong northerly winds will bring the mercury downwards. This push of cool air will bring temperatures 10 to 20 degrees down from the highs at the end of the week.

The relief from the heat will not be instant. It will take some time for the cooler air to settle into the region. The northern Gulf states stretching up to North Carolina will feel the relief first beginning on Saturday. It will take longer for the coolness to infiltrate the southern Gulf states and northern Florida.

Changes in Temperature

The shift in temperatures will be noticeable. For example, the forecast Friday high in Charlotte is 91 degrees on Friday with a predicted high of 85 on Saturday. This will drop all the way to 69 degrees on Sunday. In addition to the cooler air mass, increasing clouds will also keep the temperature down.

Heading into Memorial Day, overnight lows will hit the upper 40s throughout the southern Appalachians. The Carolina coast will only drop into the lower 60s for overnight lows with temperatures staying around 70 degrees along the upper Gulf Coast.

Storms on the Horizon

There will be a greater potential of widespread storms throughout the region when the cooler air meets up with the hot air in place. This movement puts the greatest potential of storms at the end of this week. As the jet stream continues its drop to the south and the less humid air clashes with the existing humid air, there is a good chance that the energy will be in place for storms to erupt.


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The greatest chance of storms will be along the Gulf Coast and the southern Atlantic coastal regions as the cool air stalls out early next week. These areas face the potential of hail and flash flooding along with severe thunderstorms.

What is Next

The dip in the jet stream will be short-lived. The jet stream will predictably lift as the week progresses, allowing warm and humid air to make a return. However, the temperatures and humidity levels should not exceed what the area saw this week.

Exercise Caution Until Heat Breaks

Forecasters are warning residents to exercise caution until the heat breaks. Even if the temperature readings stay within tolerable levels, the high humidity will make it feel miserable for most people. Be sure to stay hydrated and take frequent breaks when working or exercising outdoors.