Publication Date May 21, 2019

Memorial Day Weekend Heat Wave Could Smash May Records in the Southeast

United States
Forecast highs Memorial Day Weekend 2019. Image: The Weather Channel

At a Glance

  • A heat wave will build over the Southeast in time for Memorial Day weekend.
  • Highs well into the 90s, perhaps even 100s, are expected from the Carolinas to the Gulf Coast.
  • Some all-time May monthly record highs may be threatened.
  • The prolonged nature of this heat wave may make it life-threatening for some.

High pressure aloft will strengthen over the Southeast, diverting the jet stream to the north and minimizing any chance of a cold front passage.

Sinking, dry air across the Southeast will lead to plenty of sunshine, allowing heat to build and intensify. Dry soil from one of the nation's few areas of drought will only allow the ground to heat up more efficiently.

Highs in the mid- to upper 90s can be expected by the middle of the week from parts of the Carolinas to Georgia, Alabama and North Florida, lasting through Memorial Day weekend.


This searing heat will likely topple some daily record highs and could also challenge record highs for the entire month of May. Here are some cities that may flirt with all-time monthly record highs that have stood since at least the mid-20th century:

-Atlanta (May record: 97 degrees on May 29, 1941)

-Charlotte, North Carolina (May record: 98 degrees on May 22, 23 and 29, 1941)

-Montgomery, Alabama (May record: 99 degrees on May 27, 1916)

-Tallahassee, Florida (May record: 102 degrees on May 27, 1953)