(Bloomberg) -- Scorching heat will bear down on the central US for the rest of the week as temperature reach much higher than normal, even for summer. Records are expected to be set across the Great Plains and South.
Temperatures could peak at 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) in Memphis Wednesday. With the humidity, it could feel closer to 112, according to the National Weather Service. St. Louis could hit 98; Paducah, Kentucky, is forecast to reach 100; and 97 in Kansas City. Across all of those areas, moist air will make it feel even hotter.
Memphis reached 103 Tuesday, missing a record for the date by one degree, while Tupelo, Mississippi set a new high for July 5 at 101, according to the weather service.
“There is a strong heat dome, and underneath that, we have had much above-normal to near record temperatures,” said Zack Taylor, a senior branch forecaster at the US Weather Prediction Center. “The pattern has been pretty stagnant and consistent for the last several weeks.”
The heat comes as climate change makes extreme weather events more likely to occur and more severe.
While the conditions could boost energy use across the region as people turn to air conditioners to cool down, the wilting conditions probably won’t have much of an impact of corn and soybean plants. The main areas for those crops will avoid the worst of the sweltering temperatures, said Donald Keeney, a meteorologist with commercial-forecaster Maxar. The high heat across the Great Plains could even help with the winter wheat harvest, he said.
Heat advisories stretch from Central Texas east to Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia. They also bridge the region from southern Illinois to Louisiana. The worst extremes, marked by excessive heat warnings, are focused on the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, as well as most of Missouri and eastern Kansas.
Low pressure in the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast have pinned the heat in the central US for the last several weeks. Taylor of the Weather Prediction Center said there are indications it will loosen its grip and start to drift west later next week.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.