Memorial Day heat wave scorching the South
The South was sweating through Memorial Day with temperatures hotter than an average summer day.
The region has been under a heat dome since Friday. That’s when high pressure aloft acts like a lid trapping the heat below, setting the stage for potentially life-threatening conditions.
Some locations, such as Columbia, South Carolina and Augusta, Georgia, broke triple-digit temperature records Monday.
Gainesville, Florida hit 100 degrees, tying its 1953 record while Fayetteville, North Carolina beat its 1926 record by four degrees, also reaching 100.
Three cities in Georgia also saw record-breaking heat.
Atlanta spent Memorial Day at 95 degrees, Savannah at 102 and Augusta at 101.
There are more than 50 potential records that could be broken in the next few days as well, CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford said.
Records over the weekend
Dozens of records have been set over the last few days, with many coming across much of the Carolinas and Georgia.
Daily records were broken in Atlanta this weekend when temperatures hit 94 degrees on Saturday and 95 degrees on Sunday. An all-time record May record was broken in Augusta when temperatures hit 101 degrees Sunday.
Columbia hit 100 degrees on Sunday.
Although it is not a record, it has reached that mark before Tucson, Arizona, where temperatures normally hit or surpass 100 earlier in the year. This is only the third time this has happened since the 1800s.
The West felt like early spring
As the eastern half of the country bakes this weekend, the western half will feel more like early spring. After one of its latest heavy snows on record, Denver’s temperatures have finally climbed back to average. But farther west, temperatures remain far below average.
Las Vegas; Phoenix; Reno, Nevada; and Fresno, California were 20 to 25 degrees below normal. Las Vegas spent Memorial Day with lower temperatures that it usually averages in March.
Phoenix reached a high temperature of 79 degrees on Memorial Day, its average high for March 25.
Not to mention, it is expected to snow at the Grand Canyon.
CNN Meteorologists Allison Chinchar and Dave Hennen contributed to this report.