Temperatures to Rival July in Much of Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic

Posted: May 20, 2021 3:01 pm

It is going to be a toasty end to the week for most of the Northeast. Temperatures nearing the 90-degree mark will be the big weather story for the weekend as a large area of the northeastern US sizzles in May.

Flirting with 90 Degree

The greatest chance of hitting 90 degrees on the mercury will happen along the Interstate 95 corridor. Many of the most populous cities of the region, including Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Newark, New Jersey, may hit 90 degrees for the first time of the season. The last time any of these cities saw this type of heat was early September.

Up to 20 Degrees Above Average

While these temperatures may be the norm in July, they are certainly not what most people expect in the middle of May. The forecast high temperatures will hit 10-25 degrees above normal for this time of the year. While average highs range between the mid-60s in the northern reaches of New England to the mid-70s in the mid-Atlantic, the readings are predicted to be in the 80s and possibly even 90 degrees by the time the heatwave ends.

The real feel temperatures may feel even warmer because of the abundance of sunshine. Humidity levels will also creep higher than normal, making the temperature feel even warmer.

Timing of the Heat

The heat will begin to build on Thursday for much of the region. While the coastal areas will remain cool thanks to the ocean breezes, the warmth will build up throughout the day in cities such as Philadelphia and Baltimore. Even the coastal areas will begin to see more warmth by Saturday with both New York City and Boston getting in on the summer-like temperatures. Boston may reach 80 degrees on Saturday.

This warmth will be at its peak on Sunday. The mid-Atlantic region will be particularly warm to close out the weekend, making it a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy the day off. However, forecasters warn that ocean water temperatures will still be cool. Be cautious when taking a dip as cold water shock may be a factor.

How Long Will the Heat Hang On?

Enjoy the warmth while it lasts. An approaching cold front will send the mercury plummeting by Monday. By the time the week gets started, most places will be around average for this time of the year. For example, highs will be in the upper 70s for the nation’s capital while it will be in the low-60s for much of New England.


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As the front makes its entrance, do not be surprised to see a stray shower or thunderstorm pop up. While the air will remain generally dry, the winds accompanying the front may whip up some gusty storms.

Warmth Spreads South by End of Weekend

The Northeast will not be the only region to feel the heat this weekend. By Sunday, the warmth will begin to spread south. The Southeast will be the epicenter of heat in the US by the beginning of the workweek with daily records expected to be challenged as the week goes on.

Areas such as Columbia, South Carolina, may even see temperatures soar into the triple digits on Monday. Meanwhile, the temperature readings will be in the 90s for areas such as Atlanta, Birmingham, and Raleigh.