Last updated December 21, 2019

Searing Heat Wave Expected to Blanket U.S.

Central Plains
Photo: WxShift

Most of the U.S. should get ready for some serious summer weather next week. Searing temperatures — and in some places high humidity — will reign thanks to a large ridge of high pressure that’s expected to set up camp over the Lower 48...

Such heat waves are fairly typical for this time of year, and many parts of the country see their highest temperatures in July. But as the world warms from global warming, such heat waves are expected to become more intense and happen more often.


The exact details are still in play this far in advance but the overall pattern is “pretty well locked in,” Richard Bann, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center, said.

No widespread record highs are expected, but that “doesn’t take away from the fact that it is hot,” he said.

“As of now, I'd say we're due for a ‘normal’ summer heat wave that we often see in the Southern Plains,” Gary McManus, the Oklahoma state climatologist said in an email.


As the Earth’s temperature continues to rise thanks to the unrelenting buildup of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, heat waves are likely to become more intense and happen more often across the U.S. and the planet as a whole