May 7, 2022

Back To The 90s: Summerlike Heat To Build Across The Central U.S. This Week

Whew. The season's first solid burst of summerlike heat will build across the central United States this week. It's already pretty darn hot down in Texas on Saturday, where highs climbed into the triple-digits for western parts of the state. The heat will spread toward the Great Lakes as the week wears on.

Much of the weather across the United States this week will be dominated by an 'Omega Block,' a type of pattern that essentially creates a stagnant upper-level roadblock.

An Omega Block, earning its name from the resemblance to the Greek letter Omega Ω on weather maps, forms when a ridge of high pressure is bookended by two upper-level lows.

Meteorologists commonly describe these blocking patterns as "what you see is what you get," as conditions remain largely the same for days on end until the block wears off and things start moving again.

Source: Tropical Tidbits

The pattern we're stuck with this week will see calm and hot conditions build beneath the ridge parked in the center of the country, while both coasts deal with cool and dreary conditions courtesy of those stubborn upper-level lows.

In fact, the low off the southeast coast will retrograde and move back toward Florida this week, bringing the Sunshine State some showery weather, slightly lower humidity, and below-seasonal temperatures toward the middle and end of next week.

The big story, though, will be the hot weather building into the central U.S.

Temperatures already soared into the 100s for a large portion of Texas, where the National Weather Service issued widespread heat advisories to alert people to the potentially dangerous heat.

It's likely that these heat advisories will spread north toward the Midwest tomorrow and early this week as daytime highs soar into the 90s.

Here's an animation showing the National Weather Service's predicted highs between Saturday, May 7th, and Friday, May 13th. This .gif switches to the next map every two seconds before looping back at the end.

Highs in the 100s will push through much of northern and western Texas again on Sunday and Monday, with daytime temperatures in the mid- to upper-90s making their way into Oklahoma and Kansas.

We'll see upper 80s and low 90s creep toward the Midwest by the middle of the week, with a high of 89°F in Minneapolis by Thursday. This would be the city's warmest temperature since September 19, 2021.

As always, be mindful of the toll the heat can take. It's easy to overdo it without realizing you've overdone it until it's too late and you're feeling ill from heat exhaustion or worse. 

Meanwhile, you can see the influence of the meandering upper-level lows on each coast, with stubbornly cool temperatures bathing the coasts. It's especially pronounced across the east, where cold air damming will keep highs in the 50s into the Carolinas on Sunday, with the immediate shoreline from Cape Cod to the Outer Banks struggling to get out of the 60s until Thursday.

The good news with a pattern like this is that it minimizes the risk of widespread organized severe weather. We'll take any chance we can get to skip through a week in May without raucous severe storms raging somewhere.

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I graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2014 with a degree in political science and a minor in meteorology. I contribute to The Weather Network as a digital writer, and I've written for Forbes, the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang, Popular Science, Mental Floss, and Gawker's The Vane. My latest book, The Skies Above, is now available. My first book, The Extreme Weather Survival Manual, arrived in October 2015.