After the first two weeks of May featured well below-average temperatures across the Northeast and East Coast, Mother Nature will conclude the month on a much different note as summerlike conditions are expected to settle in.
A combination of meteorological entities will play a key role in the prolonged warmup across much of the eastern United States in the coming days.
A storm system that will plague the southern Plains and lower Mississippi Valley with heavy thunderstorms in the coming days will help to force warm and humid air northward from the Gulf of Mexico. A second atmospheric feature known as the "Bermuda High" will also help to bring warm and moist air northward.
These two features will result in warm and increasingly humid conditions across a wide swath of the Eastern states this week.
"The core of the warmth will not affect the areas more accustomed to early season heat waves, such as Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia. A breeze off the Atlantic Ocean will keep these cities right around average into the middle of the week, with highs in the middle 70s to near 80 degrees Fahrenheit," AccuWeather meteorologist Renee Duff said.
Instead of targeting the Interstate 95 corridor, thermometers will be soaring to potentially record highs across much of the interior Northeast from Tuesday to Thursday.
"Albany and Syracuse, N.Y.; Burlington, Vt.; Concord, N.H.; and Caribou and Bangor, Maine, could all challenge record-high temperatures this week. Here, highs in the middle 80s to middle 90s F will be common, levels that are 15-25 degrees above normal for the last week of May," Duff added.
This stretch of heat will also likely be the first time that air conditioning units will need to be turned on for many across the Northeast. In a time when millions of Americans are still financially stressed, the building heat will play another factor in increasing monthly expenses.
The heat wave that will build in this week is coming at a time when many states are beginning to ease, or lift the stay-at-home restrictions that have been in place since mid-March due to COVID-19. This is a reminder that if you do choose to travel, please double-check to make sure you don't leave children or pets in the car behind in the sweltering heat.
Heat-related illnesses can occur within minutes as temperatures soar inside a vehicle.
With travel restrictions eased, many people across the Northeast and New England may want to head to a local lake or stream to cool off amid the summerlike conditions. Although the air temperature will climb into the 80s and 90s F, many bodies of water remain very cold.
If immersed too fast or for too long it could cause your body to go into shock. Just remember to be careful and plan appropriately for any outdoor excursions.
With the exception of an isolated shower or thunderstorm across the interior Northeast and New England through midweek, much of the region can expect dry, albeit humid conditions to persist through the time frame.
The expansive heat will begin to be routed out across the Northeast Friday and Saturday as a cold front sweeps through the region, ushering in much cooler and less humid air for the weekend.