September Heat Wave to Impact Nation’s Heartland Beginning This Weekend

Posted: September 16, 2022 9:55 am

Humidity Levels Also on the Rise in Coming Days

It is going to feel more like the middle of July than the middle of September throughout much of the central U.S. this weekend as a heat dome parks itself over the south-central portion of the country.

Unseasonably Warm Weather in the Cards for the Weekend

Millions of Americans living in the central and southern Plains and throughout the Mississippi Valley will see extreme heat in the coming days, harkening back to the middle of the summer. On the heels of the third-hottest summer on the record books, the heat is back for the nation’s heartland just as the beginning of fall approaches.

Temperatures are forecast to be about 10 – 20 degrees above normal, more in line with what you would see in July. Daily records may fall in several places starting on Sunday and continuing through Tuesday.

For example, the forecast high of 94 degrees on Sunday in Kansas City will come within striking distance of the record of 96 degrees set back nearly a century ago. Records will also be challenged to the north and the east in places such as Memphis, Omaha, and St. Louis.

The temperature readings will not be quite as extreme in the northern Plains, Great Lakes, and the Ohio Valley. However, you can still expect to see temperatures that are about 5 – 10 degrees above average for the middle of September.

It will be a warm weekend for Chicago with temperatures forecast to hover in the 80s starting on Saturday and lasting through early next week. Farther to the west, Denver will also get in on the heat action with highs in the low 90s on tap by the early part of next week.

 St. Louis City skyline

Are Triple Digit Readings in the Forecast?

The middle of the U.S. will be under the gun for widespread readings in the 90s. This includes the bulk of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri. The mercury may even crack the century mark in some areas, translating to the warmest temperatures of the year for several places.

Cities in Kansas that may hit or come close to the triple digits on Sunday and Monday include Wichita, Topeka, and Kansas City. The Kansas City area saw a reading of 100 degrees on numerous days in July with a forecast in the upper 90s to start the work week coming up. Will the mercury inch high enough to equal the warmest reading of the year?

Farther to the south, Memphis is another city that is expected to potentially hurdle the century mark. The warmest readings for the week in this city are in the forecast for Monday through Wednesday. A surge in the humidity levels will make the real feel temperatures even warmer.

The unseasonably warm weather could spell trouble for high school athletes over the weekend and into next week. Most students are not used to practicing in this type of heat at this time of the year. It is important for athletes to drink plenty of water in an effort to avert dehydration, heat exhaustion, and muscle cramps.

In addition to the heat and rising humidity levels, the region may also be dealing with smoke coming from the wildfires burning out West. Steering breezes are forecast to carry this smoke to some parts of the Plains, Midwest, and into the Northeast. Those individuals with underlying health conditions will want to keep an eye on the air quality index rating in their area before spending time outside.

The September heat wave is forecast to dissipate later next week as the high pressure system weakens. In its place will be a mass of cool air that will infiltrate the Plains, the Mississippi Valley, the Great Lakes, and the Northeast.

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