HOUSTON (KIAH) — A heat wave has taken over the Central U.S. with widespread high temperatures in the 90s, and even a few spots reaching 100 degrees. Some areas could be more than 20 degrees hotter than normal for this time of year.

High pressure brings intense heat to much of the Central U.S.

The heat stems from a late-summer ‘heat dome‘ weather pattern. According to NOAA, a heat dome is a high-pressure circulation in the atmosphere that acts like a dome or cap, trapping heat at the surface and favoring the formations of a heat wave.

Example of a heat dome (NOAA)

High temperatures in the 90s will be common for several states, spreading as far north as South Dakota.

Forecast highs Monday
Departure from normal high temperatures Monday

Parts of the North U.S. will get some heat relief, but again, many states will see 90s and some could see 100s with potential for record high temperatures. This is when parts of the Central Plains could be more than 20 degrees hotter than normal.

Forecast highs Tuesday
Departure from normal highs Tuesday

Ironically, the autumnal equinox (calendar fall) begins on Thursday, September 22nd. The first day of fall will be cooler in the northern half of the U.S., but remains very hot from Texas through much of the Southeast.

Weather pattern Thursday