With the exception of the northeastern and northwestern corners, much of the United States can expect hot and summery conditions during the weekend prior to the Fourth of July.
The jet stream will have a broad northward bulge over the middle of the nation with southward dips in the Northwest and the Northeast.
This pattern is forecast to bring a broad area of high temperatures of 85 degrees Fahrenheit or greater over most of the Central states, the valleys and basins of the interior West, Southeast and mid-Atlantic regions this weekend.
Cities that can expect at least one day with 90-degree temperatures or higher this weekend include Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Kansas City; Las Vegas; Minneapolis; Nashville, Tenn.; New Orleans; Oklahoma City; Omaha, Neb.; Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix; St. Louis; Salt Lake City; and Washington, D.C.
The pattern will allow for many activities, such as baseball, picnics and barbecues to take place in conditions fit for the season.
AccuWeather RealFeal Temperatures will reach or exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit over much of the South, much of the Mississippi Valley and lower Plains, as well as the deserts of the Southwest. People should use caution, stay hydrated and take breaks from strenuous activities in these areas.
Bathers should keep in mind that water temperatures over much of the West, Great Lakes and coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic and New England are still low enough to pose a threat for cold water shock.
Surf temperatures are safe and generally range from the upper 70s to the middle 80 in waters along the southern Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
No widespread areas of strong rip currents are anticipated in U.S. coastal waters this weekend. However, localized rip currents are almost always present in the surf zone and catch swimmers off guard. Be sure to heed all warnings from lifeguards.
Natural air conditioning can be found in the higher elevations of the West, along the immediate Pacific coast, and the Northwest and Northeast corners of the nation. Highs in these locations will generally range from the lower 60s to the lower 80s.
Cloud cover and unsettled weather will add to the cooling effect.
While spotty showers and thunderstorms are forecast for parts of the Northwest this weekend, storms in parts of the Northeast can be more robust.
A few locations in New England and parts of New York state, Pennsylvania and New Jersey could be hit with more than one thunderstorm and, in some cases, a thunderstorm with strong wind gusts and hail.
It is possible that MLB games in Boston, New York City, Milwaukee, Detroit and Chicago have a delay due to a shower or thunderstorm.
Remember to move indoors, away from windows as storms approach. If you can hear thunder, you are at risk for being struck by lightning.
While many locations have had wet weather in recent months, parts of the nation have dried out earlier than average and are at an elevated risk of wildfire ignition.
Use extra caution with open flames, power equipment, fireworks and motor vehicles in parts of the Southeast, the northern tier of the Plains, the Northwest and interior Southwest.
With Independence Day approaching, indications are that heat will expand into much of the Northeast and temperatures will trend upward in the Northwest.