Warm weather will spread over most of the nation by early next week, with highs as much as 30 degrees above average possible in some areas.
Holiday weekend temperatures will be the warmest across the northern Plains. Nearly 50 daily high-temperature records could be broken as temperatures surge into the 70s and 80s.
This heat, paired with the dry weather conditions, will allow for favorable wildfire conditions to persist: “Very warm weather will continue through the weekend along with near-critical fire weather conditions,” said the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Bismarck.
Meanwhile across the Southwest, highs will be 10 to 20 degrees above average. This will translate to actual temperatures peaking into the 90s across the desert region, with localized areas exceeding the century mark at 100 degrees. If Phoenix hits 100 degrees on Sunday, it would tie the record for the warmest Easter on record.
“The hottest day is anticipated to be Sunday with many lower desert locations getting very close to 100 degrees. In fact, Phoenix is anticipated to reach record levels Saturday and Sunday,” said the NWS office in Phoenix.
The Northwest will experience more variable temperatures, with coastal sections remaining below-average due to winds blowing onshore from the cool north Pacific waters.
The eastern US just endured a strong cold front that moved through earlier this week, which brought widespread below-average temperatures and freeze warnings to many across the South.
Over 30 million people are under freeze alerts Saturday morning and over three dozen morning low-temperature records are in jeopardy of being broken. High temperatures on Saturday will run on the “cool” side with temperatures 10 to 15 degrees below normal. Fortunately, mostly sunny skies will prevail across the eastern US as an area of high-pressure sets in for the weekend.
By Easter Sunday, the weather will be mostly dry with temperatures near normal. High temperatures are forecast to be in the 70s across the South and in the 50s and 60s across much of the Northeast.
Warmth shifts east
The axis of the warmest air compared to the typical temperature for this time of the year will shift toward the eastern third of the nation by early next week.
On Monday, highs will be 15-25 degrees above average across the central Plains and Midwest, then for Tuesday and Wednesday, that should expand toward the major cities in the I-95 corridor, like New York and Washington, DC.
By the end of next week, the Climate Prediction Center predicts that warm temperatures will dominate much of the nation, with only the West Coast seeing below-average temperatures.
Storminess could also reenter the picture beginning Tuesday following a dry weekend overall for the nation. The chance for rain should return to many in the US next week.