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At a Glance
- Warm temperatures will prevail across parts of the South this weekend.
- Temperatures in some cities will be close to average highs in late May or June.
- Dozens of daily record highs are likely.
- A few all-time March heat records could be set.
- It has already been one of the warmest Marches on record.
Summerlike temperatures have spread across the South, setting dozens of daily record highs in what has already been one of the warmest starts to March on record.
A dome of high pressure is bulging northward into the South. When that happens, there is sinking air in the atmosphere that causes temperatures to heat up.
Warmer-than-average temperatures developed over South Texas, the Gulf Coast and Florida earlier this week and spread across much of the South late this week. This anomalous warmth will continue across portions of the region into early week.
Jacksonville, Florida, set a daily record high of 94 degrees on Saturday, which also breaks the all-time March record of 91 degrees set on March 10, 1974.
Temperatures on Thursday hit 100 degrees in both Texas and Oklahoma. The town of Hollis, Oklahoma, saw its earliest 100-degree reading on record Thursday.
A cooperative observing station at Zapata in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas reported a high of 108 degrees on Thursday. If confirmed, it appears this would be an all-time U.S. record high for the month of March. (All-time monthly records on the national and state level are not regularly tracked by NOAA.)
Zapata reported 105 degrees on Friday, and nearby Laredo reached at least 101 degrees.
Galveston, Texas, set its fourth record high in five days with a high of 81 degrees on Friday.
Other record highs set on Friday include Jacksonville, Florida (90 degrees); Shreveport, Louisiana (90 degrees); New Orleans (87 degrees); Savannah, Georgia (87 degrees); Wilmington, North Carolina (87 degrees); Chattanooga, Tennessee (87 degrees); Roanoke, Virginia (86 degrees); and Asheville, North Carolina (85 degrees).
Daily record highs were set on Saturday in Savannah, Georgia (90 degrees); Montgomery, Alabama (89 degrees); New Orleans (88 degrees); Charleston, West Virginia (87 degrees - tied)
A Hot March Already
Temperatures have been much above average so far this March in the South.
Dozens of cities are on pace to have a top-10-warmest March. Here's where this month ranks among the warmest Marches on record for several cities through March 26, according to the Southeast Regional Climate Center:
-Warmest: Brownsville (tied), Austin (tied), Corpus Christi and Laredo, Texas; Pensacola, Florida; New Orleans
-Second warmest: Houston and Del Rio, Texas; Alexandria, Louisiana
-Third warmest: Dallas, Texas; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Montgomery, Alabama; Jackson, Mississippi; Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (tied); Daytona Beach, Florida (tied)
-Fourth warmest: San Antonio, Texas; Norfolk, Virginia; Jacksonville, Fort Myers, Miami, Tampa, and West Palm Beach, Florida
-Sixth warmest: Atlanta
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