Soaring temperatures could shatter over 300 records to close out February

Hundreds of temperature records – record highs and record-warm lows – are expected to fall through midweek across the Plains and Midwest. On Tuesday, more than 246 million Americans will experience above-average temperatures.

An exceptional record-breaking episode of February heat has millions wondering what month it is. 

Monday lived up to the hype, with over 73 daily record temperatures set or tied and at least 5 monthly records set. Some of the cities that saw their hottest February day on record include Omaha (80 degrees), Des Moines (78 degrees), Minneapolis (65 degrees) and Abilene, Texas (94 degrees). 


A look at Monday's record highs.
(FOX Weather)


Fargo, North Dakota (61 degrees) saw their first 60-degree day in February in 66 years.

After hitting a record-breaking 80 degrees on Monday, St. Louis is again forecast to see a high in the lower 80s on Tuesday. If temperatures hit 85, it will be an all-time record for St. Louis in February. However, the low is expected to drop to around 30 degrees by Wednesday morning. 

Dallas (94 degrees) had its third-hottest February day on record and the seventh-earliest 90-degree day in Texas. In Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, the thermometer hit an astounding 100 degrees. The record heat, strong winds and very low relative humidity allowed multiple wildfires to break out and quickly spread through Colorado, Nebraska, Texas and Mississippi.

It remained warm Tuesday morning, with over 240 million Americans experiencing above-average daytime temperatures.

A look at the number of Americans expected to experience above-average warmth over the next three days.
(FOX Weather)


Over 100 locations in more than 20 states are forecast to break records for the warmest low temperature on Feb. 27. The low temperatures will be so warm, they'll be warmer than the average highs for this time of year.

Potential record-warm lows this week.
(FOX Weather)


Another 16 states could see record-high temperatures on Tuesday as temperatures again soar to 20 to 40 degrees above average ahead of a powerful cold front. Detroit was among them with a 1 p.m. temperature of 70 degrees, tying its all-time February record high set on Feb. 11, 1999, and Feb. 24, 2017.

Forecast high temperatures for Tuesday compared to when warm temperatures would typically occur.
(FOX Weather)


The 70-degree temperatures may reach as far north as Wisconsin, where Madison has a good shot at seeing its warmest February temperature on record. 

Potential record highs this week.
(FOX Weather)


Temperatures reaching 80 degrees will be felt well into Missouri and Illinois, and some Texas thermometers will again touch 90. While not quite as warm and windy as Monday, conditions will again be in place that will be conducive for spreading wildfires across Texas on Tuesday.

The stretch of warmth will ensure that most northern cities from Minnesota to Maine will record the top 10 warmest meteorological winters on record.

Temperature swing incoming

Late in the week, cooler temperatures will return as a cold front carrying a cross-country storm will knock down temperatures. This front will bring a wild temperature swing for millions.


"While this warmth is building in quickly, and we expect records through about Tuesday and Wednesday, we do get a sharp reminder once the storm moves in that, yes, it is still winter, and we still need the coats," FOX Weather Meteorologist Jane Minar said.

During the second half of the week, temperatures will transition from 20-30 degrees above average to 10-20 degrees below average, the FOX Forecast Center said. This temperature swing will also come with howling winds. In portions of the northern tier, feels-like temperatures could dip below zero by Wednesday. 

The country will then be divided by unseasonable warmth in the South and cold temperatures in the North. However, the FOX Forecast Center is tracking long-range forecasts that will allow that warmth to return across the country in the first full week of March.

The long-range temperature outlook from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
(FOX Weather

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