Fox News Weather Center

May to start on warm, muggy note in southeastern US

Residents of the southeastern United States may feel like the calendar has flipped ahead to Memorial Day weekend with warm and muggy weather in place for the start of May.

After the passage of a cold front brought cooling to North Carolina to end April, warm and humid air will surge back across all of the Southeast to kick off May.

"A predominantly southerly flow [of air] will set up across the Southeast this weekend and head into Monday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Maggie Samuhel said.

"Moisture will be picked up from the warming Gulf of Mexico waters and carried into the region, bringing high dew points."

Highs in the 80s will dominate the Southeast from Florida to North Carolina Sunday into Monday. Some communities, the most numerous of which will be in central Florida, will even crack the 99-degree-Fahrenheit mark.

Highs in early May typically range from the middle 80s in central Florida to middle 70s in North Carolina.

A wind blowing in off the ocean will keep the beaches cooler than neighboring inland locations.

While actual temperatures may come up short, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures in many communities will approach or top 90 during the first day or two of May due to the higher humidity. RealFeels will even rise into the upper 90s from southern South Carolina to the interior of Florida.

This includes in Jacksonville and Tallahassee, Florida; Augusta and Savannah, Georgia; Columbia, South Carolina; and Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina.

While such steamy air is fairly common in summer, it may still put a strain on residents who have not yet become accustomed to it following the cooler winter and early spring months.

Those planning to engage in strenuous outdoor plans are urged to drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks.

However, the warm and muggy conditions to start May will not be accompanied by a full day of blazing sunshine throughout the Southeast. Outside of central Florida, the stage will be set for showers and thunderstorms to instead rumble daily.

Widespread severe weather is not anticipated, but a locally drenching or gusty thunderstorm cannot be ruled out. Regardless of the severity of the thunderstorms, anyone outdoors should seek shelter as soon as thunder is heard. The danger of being struck by lightning is then present.

There have been five lightning fatalities in the United States so far this year, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Lightning Safety Specialist John Jensenius.

"The five fatalities this year are the most this year in the season since 2001 (when there were seven fatalities by April 27)," Jensenius said.

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Those planning to head to the beach to beat the warmth should stay alert of impending thunderstorms with AccuWeather MinuteCast®. Swimmers are also reminded to use extra caution where lifeguards have not resumed their duties for the summer season.

While May is starting out warm and muggy, changes are on the way for residents who are not ready for the steamy summer months to set in.

A pair of storm systems, accompanied by more showers and thunderstorms, will gradually trim dew points and lower temperatures back to near or slightly below normal in a northwest-to-southeast fashion from Tuesday to Thursday.

Less humid air will even sweep down to Miami and the rest of South Florida.