Light Wave

U.S. News

Flip flops in February? Record-breaking national heat wave coming to U.S.

By Jake Beardslee · February 23, 2024

In brief…

  • Abnormal warmth expected from Texas to Minnesota next week, potentially breaking over 200 temperature records
  • Highs 30+ degrees above normal forecast in central U.S., with 70s and 90s possible
  • Warmth spreads east Tuesday and Wednesday, with 60s and thunderstorms reaching East Coast
  • Brief midweek cool-down expected in north-central U.S. before more warmth
  • Winter 2022-23 on pace to be one of warmest on record for much of country
This upcoming week is predicted to bring record-breaking warmth to much of the central and eastern United States, rapidly accelerating the end of a largely nonexistent winter.  Billie Grace Ward from New York, USA/Wikimedia

The end of winter as we know it may be upon us, according to meteorologists tracking a dramatic shift in the weather pattern next week. An area from Dallas to Minneapolis is forecast to see temperatures more typical of May or June than February’s end, potentially breaking over 200 daily temperature records, according to CNN.

Meteorologists predict that next Monday will probably be the hottest day thus far in 2023 for Midwestern cities like St. Louis, Dallas, and Chicago. High temperatures are expected to climb around 30 degrees Fahrenheit above normal levels throughout the central United States, with the city of Omaha possibly rising into the 70s and Dallas approaching 90 degrees.

On Tuesday, the main area of unusual warm weather is forecast to shift eastward, resulting in high temperatures in the 60s from Chicago east to Cleveland. St. Louis may get close to 80 degrees. Texas will likely see no relief, as highs there remain in the 80s and 90s.

By Wednesday, as the warm air expands to the East Coast, Philadelphia and New York City could reach highs in the 60s. Thunderstorms are also foreseeable over a large portion of the eastern United States, as the warm air mass encounters a cold front. The interaction between the two air masses could spark storm development.

A brief cooldown is expected in the north-central U.S. around midweek, but weather experts say it will probably be too weak and too late to rescue the winter season. For a large part of the nation, this winter is on track to be one of the warmest ever recorded.