CNN Meteorologist Sarah Dillingham
Summer officially begins Wednesday, June 20, at 7:09 pm EDT, and it will certainly feel like summer in many locations! The Northeast is bracing for its first heat wave of the year, and the numbers will not disappoint as high temperatures could soar into the mid-upper 90s and near 100 degrees by Wednesday. The Plains and parts of the Midwest have already seen the heat this week, as Denver hit a record high of 100 degrees Monday, and Chicago topped out at 94, remaining below their record of 98. Chicago is not much of a stranger to this heat as highs have already reached 90 degrees or above for 6 days of June 2012. The heat is also ongoing across Nebraska as temperatures reached as hot as 109 degrees on Monday, but those highs should drop off a bit today. Denver and Chicago will stay hot Tuesday as both locations are forecast to hit 95 degrees, but as that heat keeps moving eastward into Wednesday, the Northeast will start to feel it.
This has been a pretty mild season for the Northeast thus far, which is why this upcoming heat wave will be such a shock. Boston has had a very mild June, with their hottest day only reaching 79 degrees, but that will change tomorrow as they are anticipating highs to reach near 100! The last time Boston saw temps that warm was over a year ago on July 22, 2011 when the mercury rose to 103 degrees! Philadelphia and surrounding areas are already under an Excessive Heat Warning for Wednesday and Thursday as heat indices could climb into the upper 90s and triple digits. New York will also see scorching temps and many other locations across the Northeast are expected to see record-breaking heat.
The good news is that this will be a short-lived return of extreme heat as highs should return to the upper 80s for areas in and around Boston and New York by Friday. However, highs across Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia could stay a little toasty for Friday as temperatures will stay into the lower 90s. Seeing temperatures this warm now does not indicate that the East Coast will see a very hot summer, but at least compared to the more mild and rainy conditions seen across the Northeast in recent weeks, the sudden burst of heat will make it difficult for people to adjust. As always, be sure to wear light colored clothing and a high enough SPF if you have to be outside, and most importantly, drink plenty of water!