On the eve of spring, it felt far more like summer across the central portion of the country on Sunday.
Dozens of records were smashed in another bout of record warmth across the nation’s heartland and the desert southwest on the last day of winter, continuing an unusually mild mid-March spell in this part of the country. From Phoenix, Arizona to Lincoln, Nebraska and south to Lubbock, Texas, 80s and 90s were widespread, far earlier than usual. Topeka, Kansas soared to 90° on Sunday afternoon, making it the city’s earliest 90° reading on record.
Coupled with a drier-than-average last few months, drought and fire concerns continue to plague the central portion of the country, keeping fire danger high for many locations into Monday. A big ‘ridge’ of high pressure has continued to pump in heat and lock in dry, sunny weather. That pattern, though, is set to break down somewhat by mid-week as a cold front and an area of low pressure are expected to move through by Wednesday and Thursday, bringing relief both in temperature and precipitation form to many areas basking in the record warmth over the weekend.
Spring officially begins on Monday at 6:28am EST. For more information on the vernal equinox, check out this article.
Stay with WeatherNation on the heat and the wild spring temperature swings.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi – Featured photo courtesy: Victor Hiltz, Raleigh, NC (Saturday, March 18th)
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