Where the impending heatwave stands in the record books

High temperatures will reach or exceed 100 degrees each day starting next Tuesday
Montgomery has the potential to hit record temperatures this week.
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 11:12 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2023 at 2:44 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The heat is on here in Central Alabama! That is both the name of a popular song and the perfect way to describe the impending heatwave set to impact almost half of the Lower 48.

A large and very strong ridge will set up shop across the heart of the U.S. and remain anchored there for the next 7+ days. This will really bring the heat to states from the Southeast to the Plains to the Midwest and Ohio Valley.

The other effect a strong “heat dome” has is it keeps things mostly dry. Think of an upper level ridge -- or upper level high pressure system -- essentially as a bubble that deflects most rain and storm opportunities away. That’s what we here in Alabama will have in place for the next 7-10 days.

Montgomery will threaten multiple records next week.
Montgomery will threaten multiple records next week.(WSFA 12 News)

The forecast will be dry with plenty of sunshine each day and very hot. High temperatures will go from the middle and upper 90s on Saturday to the upper 90s on Sunday and Monday to the lower 100s starting Tuesday.

The average high temperature in Montgomery as of August 18th is still a toasty 94 degrees. So to get middle and upper 90s is nothing unheard of at this point. What is a little more uncommon is a stretch of 100-degree days in late August. Not unprecedented, just a bit more unusual than upper 90s.

It currently looks like highs will be at or just above 100 degrees next Tuesday through Saturday. The hottest days will likely feature multiple cities in Central Alabama reaching 102° or higher.

Whether or not records will fall remains to be seen though. Montgomery will likely break the record of 100 degrees next Wednesday with a forecast high of 102°. Next Friday and Saturday our forecast is calling for a tie of the current records for those dates (August 25th and 26th).

If highs don’t quite tie or break any records, Montgomery will likely make it to the third-highest or second-highest temperature each day starting next Tuesday. The list of records for the period August 20-26 can be seen in the above graphic.

We could see at least 5 days in a row in the 100s starting next Tuesday.
We could see at least 5 days in a row in the 100s starting next Tuesday.(WSFA 12 News)

Another way to look at the heat is in terms of a streak. As it stands now, Montgomery will likely see highs in the triple digits for 5-6 days in a row. Should that happen, it would be the first stretch of at least five days in a row at or above 100° since August 13-18 of 2019.

The most days Montgomery has ever strung together at or above the century mark is 12. That insane stretch of heat happened between August 6th and 17th of 2007. What a crazy hot month that was!

It’s unlikely that streak is in jeopardy this go-around. However, streaks like what we’re expecting next week are very rare in Montgomery. Probably more rare than you think.

Since data began being collected at Montgomery Regional Airport back in 1948, the city has only had six stretches where the high temperature reached at least 100° for at least five days in a row.

Six total times in 75 years. That averages out to once every 12-13 years! So it’s fair to say that, on average, the stretch we’re likely to endure next week is something we only see in the Capital City once every decade or longer.

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