Heat records in Texas were toppled when temperatures reached as high as 112F (44C), setting off a heatwave that will engulf much of the central US.
The record-setting temperatures occurred on Saturday in Texas, but similar heat records may be felt in other US locales, including an anticipated 90 degrees as far north as the Great Lakes later in the week.
According to the Washington Post, the National Weather Service has issued heat advisories for Central and South Texas, and will likely reissue the warnings as the week continues and the heat wave expands.
“If you have outdoor plans, be sure to practice heat safety and stay hydrated,” the NWS office in Austin and San Antonio tweeted on Sunday.
The heat will also increase the likelihood of extreme fire threats from New Mexico to West Texas.
Colorado and New Mexico also experienced temperatures in the 90s, and Phoenix, Arizona, saw a triple-digit temperatures for the first time this year.
Pat Cavlin, a meteorologist for KHOU, commented on a temperature map showing the record-breaking temperatures across Texas, calling the numbers "absurd”.
The heatwave began to spread from Texas on Sunday, moving northward through the Great Plains and toward the Great Lakes. According to the Weather Channel, the heat wave is the result of changes to the jet stream.
"The reason for this is essentially the jet stream has become wavy. It has nosedived southward into the West Coast and Great Basin, bringing chilly weather, there," the weather station said in a writeup. "That is causing the jet stream east of the Rockies to shoot northward into Canada, leaving a dome of high pressure over the nation's mid-section."
By Tuesday, temperatures will be in the 90s as far north as St Louis. The heatwave will be most expansive by Wednesday, with highs near the 90s in Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois, as well as everywhere to the south.
By Thursday, the heat wave will reach as far north as Minneapolis, sending temperatures soaring into the 80s in Michigan and Wisconsin.
Houston, Little Rock, Shreveport, St Louis and Kansas City are likely to experience record breaking temperatures during the heat wave.
Thankfully, while humidity will make the hot days feel slightly warmer, thanks to the early timing of the weather system it will not be as oppressive as a summer heat wave.
NWS predicts that the heat wave will be the first of several for the coming late-spring and early summer season. The increase in heat waves is a direct result of the climate crisis, which exacerbates extreme weather events.