Fox News Weather Center

Near-record warmth to build across Southeast this week

Warm air will build across the Southeast this week as temperatures reach levels more appropriate for a summer day in June rather than April.

"Some of the hottest weather so far this year is expected in the Southeast this week," AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Samuhel said.

Widespread temperatures in the mid- to upper 80s F will highlight many of the afternoons across the Deep South to the Carolinas this week. Some locations may even reach into the lower 90s toward midweek.

A southerly flow and a building ridge of high pressure overhead will lead to the expansive area of warmth through the week that will push temperatures 7 to 14 F above-normal.

Through Tuesday, high temperatures will be in the mid- to upper 80s from Louisiana to North Carolina and even as far north as Maryland.

Wednesday looks to be the warmest day. Many places will come within a few of degrees of daily maximum temperature records on Tuesday and Wednesday and there could be even some places that tie or break records.

"The average high temperature from Raleigh to Atlanta is in the mid-70s and it's not out of the question that some places get to 90 this week," Samuel said.

Columbia, South Carolina, will be one of the hotter places this week as temperatures reach into the 90s during the middle of the week. For many places including Columbia, the last time the thermometer read 90 degrees was around the middle of September last year.

Atlanta, Georgia, will be no stranger to the heat as temperatures are expected to climb into the upper 80s by Wednesday.

Days this week will feel a little more like summer, although it won't be true summer weather as humidity levels will not be quite as high, making it not feel as muggy.

If the heat isn't bothersome, then the first half of the week will turn out to be rather nice as dry weather and sunshine is expected.

However, while the summer humidity will not accompany the warmth, the heat can still be dangerous this early in the year.

A higher sun angle tends to catch people off guard during the spring so it's easy to get the first burn early in the season. Folks are urged to apply sunscreen if they will be outside for extended an period of time.

It is also important to drink plenty of water in order to stay hydrated during vigorous outdoor work or exercise.

Largely dry weather will accompany the warmth early in the week with only a spotty shower to thunderstorm expected across the Southeast. There will be a higher chance for showers and thunderstorms for the second half of the week.

A storm system that will be responsible for a tornado outbreak in the Plains will bring a cold front through the region late in the week.

This will bring widespread unsettled weather in the form of thunderstorms to the region.

"There could be a gusty thunderstorm in vicinity of the front towards the end of the week," Samuhel said.