The Palmetto State will be sizzling this Memorial Day Weekend, and the heat could be historic. Record highs dating back to the 1950's and 60's are in jeopardy of being broken or tied in several cities by Monday.
Triple-digit temperatures are forecast across the Midlands starting Saturday, with a high up to 101° possible in Columbia by Memorial Day. Even temperatures across the Upstate are expected to shatter records. Forecast highs in Spartanburg are 3 to 5 degrees above the daily records Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
These numbers are 10 to 15 degrees above average for this time of year. High temperatures in late May are typically between 80 and 85 degrees, with upper 70's in the far western Piedmont.
“Feels like” temperatures (when you factor in the humidity) will range from 95 to 100 in the Upstate, with triple digit heat indices expected from the Lower Piedmont to the Low Country starting Sunday afternoon.
The National Weather Service suggests use of “extreme caution” when spending time outside, especially when the heat index values are at these levels. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are possible with overexertion, so proper preventative measures such as drinking plenty of water, wearing light clothing, and limiting time outside are strongly recommended.
A strong ridge of high pressure near Bermuda high will persist through next week, which is the primarily cause of the abnormal warmth. This dome of sinking air will act like a pressure cooker and temperatures will warm a little more each day until it moves away or weakens. South Carolina is on its western side, which is directly in the path of hot and dry air circulating around the system. There is no sign that this pattern will break until at least the middle of next week.