Surge of heat to bring hottest weather since last summer to Northeast


From Ohio to North Carolina and Maine, nearly 100 million people in the Northeast will experience heat from the 80s to the mid-90s this weekend, typical of mid-summer sweltering heat.

AccuWeather meteorologists say the heat and humidity on Saturday and Sunday will bring the warmest weather since last August in many areas, and in some areas more than 100-year records could be broken.

Daily record highs since World War II and the Great Depression era will be challenged in many places. In Philadelphia, Saturday’s temperature could be close to the 95-degree record set in 1934. In Raleigh, North Carolina, and Albany, New York, the daily records for Saturday, May 21 were set in 1941. Raleigh’s record is 96, while the New York state capital’s record is 91.

In a few cases, the heat could be the strongest since the summer of 2020. The high temperature forecast for Richmond, Virginia on Saturday is 99 degrees. The summer 2021 maximum temperature in Virginia’s capital city is 96 degrees Fahrenheit in June and July. The last time a thermometer there read 90 degrees or higher was on July 28, 2020, when the high reached 101 degrees.

Likewise, the last time Pittsburgh recorded the current predicted Saturday temperature was two summers ago on August 25, 2020. Temperatures are forecast to hit 93 degrees on Saturday, which would smash the daily record of 92 degrees set more than 100 years ago in 1911. The Steel City last recorded a temperature of 92 degrees on June 28 and 29.

Combined with high humidity, strong May sunshine and other factors, AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures will approach dangerously high levels above 100 degrees for a few hours Saturday midday and afternoon.

Weather conditions along the mid-Atlantic coast have ranged from stormy to less-than-ideal over the past two weekends, but for those who have been craving a weekend getaway and a way to cool off at the beach, Friday, Saturday and Sunday may It’s a great day to go from North Carolina to New England.

Forecasters say predicting temperatures within a few miles of the Atlantic Ocean or its bays and estuaries can be tricky in spring and early summer. If there is a sea breeze, the cold water can lower the temperature by a few degrees to a dozen or more degrees. In some cases, it may get colder along the beach due to persistent winds.

Temperatures are likely to soar quickly by midday on Saturday, but in the afternoon, where there are sea breezes or bay breezes, they may cool down a bit. Atlantic City, New York City and Boston are some of the population centers that could be affected by local cooling later Saturday.

Experts say beachgoers this weekend should be mindful of water temperatures currently well away from midsummer water levels and the danger of cold water shocks.

Static AP Sea Breeze Example

A woman on a beach chair dips her toes into the ocean as the waves roll on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Long Beach, New York. Temperatures in the 90s drew hundreds to the beach, where sea breezes cooled them. (AP Photo/Cathy Willens)

In the second half of May, the sea temperature along the northeast coast remained cold. Surfing temperatures this week range from icy 40s on the southern coast of Maine to 50s on southern New England and New Jersey beaches to 60s from Maryland to Virginia. It wasn’t until the Outer Banks, North Carolina, that the water temperature remained in the 70s.

Another danger some beachgoers may face this weekend is the damage caused by rough surf in early May. The same storm that brought two days of rain over Mother’s Day weekend lingered at sea for the following week. While the storm did not evolve into a tropical system, the strong northeasterly winds the storm produced had a knock-on effect, causing powerful waves to tear the sand off many beaches.


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Residents in the Northeast will also need to be wary of thunderstorms this weekend.

“Very warm and muggy weather Saturday night will set the stage for hot and humid conditions along much of the Interstate 95 corridor on Sunday, even as an approaching cold front in the Midwest produces increasing cloud cover ,” said AccuWeather Lead Long-Range meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

Showers and thunderstorms are possible any time Sunday in the Appalachians and eastern Great Lakes region as the front approaches.

Cloudy thunderstorms are likely to affect parts of upstate New York and New England Friday night and Saturday, but most thunderstorms should be delayed until Sunday, when they don’t reach equilibrium in the Northeast, and may not reach new heights until Sunday afternoon. South East England and Mid-Atlantic coast or at night.

The heat-cutting storm could become severe later in the weekend and bring the risk of locally strong winds, downpours and hail.

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