You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Heat milestones, records to be reached from Texas to North Dakota next week

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 7/24/2021 Jake Sojda

Residents of the northern Plains have been no stranger to intense heat so far this summer, but in parts of the southern Plains, the high heat that the region usually sees over the summer has been delayed. However, forecasters say that's about to change this coming week.

This weekend, a heat dome is expected to build across the northern, central and southern Plains before then persisting through much of next week. For parts of the northern Plains, this will likely add to the already high number of 100-degree days this year. Meanwhile, to the south, some cities usually accustomed to several 100-degree days by this point in the summer, will only be reaching the century mark for the first time.

One such city is Dallas. The weather in Dallas this summer has been warm but not all that hot, having not yet experienced a single triple-digit temperature in 2021.

On average, Dallas experiences its first 100-degree day on July 1, and the city came close on that one day this year, with the mercury topping out at 98 degrees. Dallas also flirted with the century mark a few other times this month, but AccuWeather forecasters say the city is likely to notch its first day of the year at 100 degrees as the end of July nears.

Dallas is expected to hit 100 on Monday, which would be 26 days behind the average pace. The average high for Dallas on July 26, is 97 degrees.

a sign in a field © Provided by AccuWeather

Wichita Falls and Abilene are also cities in Texas forecast to reach 100 for the first time this year. Both cities usually reach 100 degrees for the first time much earlier than Dallas. In Wichita Falls, the average first 100-degree day is June 9, and for Abilene, it is June 16.

There has been quite a contrast from north to south in the Plains through June and July. Bismarck, North Dakota, is one location in the northern Plains that has been particularly hot.

map © Provided by AccuWeather

Bismarck is averaging 8 degrees above normal since June 1. The city has reached 100 degrees or higher on nine days this year. This included readings of 106 degrees on June 4, 103 degrees on June 5, and 107 degrees on July 3, all of which set daily records. Another record was set on Thursday with a temperature of 105 degrees, breaking the record of 103 degrees from way back in 1901. While the southern Plains will get in on more of the heat next, the core of the heat will still be found over the northern Plains.

Incredibly, it may still get even hotter than what's already been seen in Bismarck. On Tuesday, the temperature could surpass 110 degrees. Bismarck has only surpassed 110 degrees three times since temperature recording in Bismarck began in 1875. The all-time record in Bismarck is 114 degrees, set in 1936. Widespread 100-degree readings are likely across much of the northern Plains as well, challenging daily temperature records.

map © Provided by AccuWeather

The heat in northern Plains can at least partially be attributed to the ongoing extreme to exceptional drought. When there is a drought, the sun's energy can go directly into heating the ground.

According to the United States Drought Monitor, drought is much less extensive across the central Plains and there are no drought conditions present in the southern Plains, where plenty of rain has fallen this spring and summer. The sun must first work to evaporate moisture in cases where the ground is saturated, and this has held temperatures back in the southern Plains.


But even with the building heat, some places in Texas and to the immediate north may still fall short of the 100-degree mark.

In Waco, Texas, temperatures at or above 100 degrees are not expected. Monday will be a close call, however, with a forecast high of 99 degrees. Oklahoma City is another location that has yet to reach 100 degrees. However, similar to Waco, Oklahoma City could flirt with the century next week.

"Wichita, Kansas, has only had five days so far this month where the thermometer reached the 90s, but highs are forecast to be with a few degrees of 100 on one or two days next week," AccuWeather Meteorologist Adam Sadvary said.

The mercury is likely to reach between 95 and 98 degrees through Tuesday, so the lack of 100-degree temperatures is likely to continue. Through July 23, Wichita is 3.9 degrees below normal for the month.

By the middle of the week, higher temperatures are expected and the current forecast finally has the mercury reaching 100 degrees in Wichita on Wednesday.

Forecasters warn though that even though the temperatures may not rise as high in the southern Plains when compared to the northern Plains, it doesn't mean the same dangers won't be present.

"It will also be very humid farther south, which is also part of the reason the actual temperature won't climb quite as high," explained Sadvary. But AccuWeather meteorologists warn that with the combination of heat and humidty, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will soar well into the 100s and even 110s.

calendar © Provided by AccuWeather
Wet weather has kept the ground saturated across the South, thus limiting temperatures from soaring into the triple digits across the southern Plains.

A break in the intense heat is finally expected by late next week, with temperatures in the 80s and lower 90s forecast from North Dakota to Nebraska. Temperatures farther south may still be in the middle to upper 90s, but that is right around normal for late July.

Keep checking back on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier, Spectrum, FuboTV, Philo, and Verizon Fios.


More From AccuWeather

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon