Soaring temperatures could shatter over 300 records to close out February

Hundreds of temperature records – record highs and record-warm lows – are expected to fall through midweek across the Plains and Midwest. On Wednesday, more than 186 million Americans will experience above-average temperatures.

An exceptional record-breaking episode of February heat has millions wondering what month it is. 

Monday lived up to the hype, with over 232 daily record temperatures set or tied and at least 5 monthly records set. Some of the cities that saw their hottest February day on record include Omaha (80 degrees), Des Moines (78 degrees), Minneapolis (65 degrees) and Abilene, Texas (94 degrees). 


A look at Monday's record highs.
(FOX Weather)


Fargo, North Dakota (61 degrees) saw their first 60-degree day in February in 66 years.

Dallas (94 degrees) had its third-hottest February day on record and the seventh-earliest 90-degree day in Texas. In Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, the thermometer hit an astounding 100 degrees. The record heat, strong winds and very low relative humidity allowed multiple wildfires to break out and quickly spread through Colorado, Nebraska, Texas and Mississippi.

After hitting a record-breaking 80 degrees on Monday, St. Louis soared to 86 on Tuesday, the all-time record for St. Louis in February. However, the low is expected to drop to around 30 degrees by Wednesday morning. 

A look at Tuesday's record highs.
(FOX Weather)


Over 40 cities set record highs on Tuesday.

Detroit hit 73 on Tuesday to break the all-time record highs for February. Tuesday also saw Wisconsin all-time record highs for the month in Milwaukee (74), Green Bay (70) and Madison (70).

A look at the number of Americans expected to experience above-average warmth over the next three days.
(FOX Weather)


The stretch of warmth will ensure that most northern cities from Minnesota to Maine will record the top 10 warmest meteorological winters on record.

The low temperatures will be so warm, they'll be warmer than the average highs for this time of year. And the records will march east.

Potential record-breakers Wednesday.
(FOX Weather)


Temperature swing incoming

Late in the week, cooler temperatures will return as a cold front carrying a cross-country storm will knock down temperatures. This front will bring a wild temperature swing for millions.


"While this warmth is building in quickly, and we expect records through about Tuesday and Wednesday, we do get a sharp reminder once the storm moves in that, yes, it is still winter, and we still need the coats," FOX Weather Meteorologist Jane Minar said.

During the second half of the week, temperatures will transition from 20-30 degrees above average to 10-20 degrees below average, the FOX Forecast Center said. This temperature swing will also come with howling winds. In portions of the northern tier, feels-like temperatures could dip below zero by Wednesday. 

The country will then be divided by unseasonable warmth in the South and cold temperatures in the North. However, the FOX Forecast Center is tracking long-range forecasts that will allow that warmth to return across the country in the first full week of March.

The long-range temperature outlook from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
(FOX Weather)