Records in jeopardy as temperatures soar above average in central US

Record-high temperatures held since the 1800s have been broken

More than a half-dozen records were broken Sunday and more are at risk of being broken Monday as temperatures in the central United States soar up to 20 degrees above average in some areas.

As we transition from fall into winter, this is more mild air than hot, meaning temperatures are rather pleasant for this time of year. 

As far as records go, some of those that were broken Sunday have stood since the 1800s. Helena, Montana, hit 66 degrees Sunday, breaking the old record of 56 set back in 2014. However, Lander, Wyoming, hit 61 degrees, breaking the old record of 56 degrees that was held since 1899.

Average-high temperatures in Montana for this time of year are in the mid-30s, so highs getting into the 60s this week is a rare feat.

The same holds for the Kansas City area. The average high for this time of year there is around 48 degrees. High temperatures this week could reach 70 degrees.

So why is this happening?

A high-pressure system over Colorado is in control and will stay that way almost all week. As the system spins in a clockwise rotation, it pulls the warmer air from the south and funnels it to the north.

The above-average temperatures will be felt across most of the United States as this week progresses.

The Southwest is expected to be between 5 and 10 degrees above average, while the central United States will be about 15 to 20 degrees above average on Monday. 

As a result, record-high temperatures are in jeopardy of being broken Monday. Salina, Kansas, could hit 75 degrees, which would break the record of 71 degrees set back in 1998.

Other areas across the western United States could also have some records broken Monday.

And while temperatures will be higher than average on Tuesday, they will only be about 5 to 10 degrees above average for this time of year.

By Wednesday, the warmer temperatures will move into places like Minneapolis, Kansas City and Denver, where it could be 15 to 20 degrees above average. The Southwest will again be about 5 to 10 degrees above average.

On Thursday, the mild air will finally push to the eastern United States, where temperatures of 5 to 10 degrees above average will be felt from Maine all the way south into northern Florida.