Memorial Day marks the “unofficial start to summer” for millions of Americans and typically the opening of pools, beach season and many other warm-weather activities. Even though this year may look different with delayed openings in some areas during the pandemic, many will try to salvage the holiday weekend with a staycation, or at least by firing up the grill in their backyards.
Spring has been a cool and wet one across the eastern United States, preventing people from escaping to the outdoors at times during the shelter-in-place orders. However, AccuWeather forecasters say conditions may let up just in time for the holiday weekend with temperatures expected to throttle to summery levels. Others may not be so lucky as a stormy pattern developing this week will persist straight into the weekend.
Sweltering in the Southeast
After a large storm stalls in the southeastern U.S. for a few days this week, unleashing flooding downpours on the southern Appalachians and Carolinas, a more tranquil pattern is in store for the holiday weekend.
“High pressure will take the place of a storm pestering the region this week,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck. “This will lead to overall drier conditions with expanding heat.”
Temperatures in the 80s F will be widespread across the region through the weekend and for Memorial Day itself. Interior portions of Florida and southern Georgia and Alabama will climb into the 90s. The warmth expected this weekend will be closer to normal for the actual start of summer, on June 20, rather than late May.
Combined with sunshine and building humidity, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will soar well into the 90s across much of the Deep South, and can even surpass 100 in spots away from the coast.
“Those planning outdoor activities for the holiday weekend should be careful to protect against heat-related illness,” cautioned Smerbeck.
While largely dry conditions are expected, some downpours and thunderstorms still could pop up for a few locales and dampen some holiday plans.
“The high pressure won’t be very strong, so as is the case with many hot, humid and summerlike air masses, some showers and thunderstorms can bubble up in the afternoon heat,” said Smerbeck.
Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast to bask in pleasant conditions
Residents from the Midwest to the Northeast won’t have to wait until the weekend to start enjoying sunshine and expanding warmth.
After a slow-moving storm brought widespread flooding across portions of the Midwest, Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, high pressure will set up for the long haul, bringing expansive dry weather and a good deal of sunshine from Minnesota to Maine through this week and much of the holiday weekend.