Another Plunge of Cooler Temperatures Will End August in Central U.S. as Heat Wave Arrives in Parts of the West

Linda Lam
Published: August 23, 2019

A relatively cool end to August is anticipated in parts of the central U.S., while a heat wave will take hold in parts of the West.

A southward dip in the jet stream, also known as a trough, will be in place over parts of the central and eastern U.S. for the final week of August. This pattern will allow several cold fronts to push through parts of the Plains, Midwest and East over the next week.

The first cold front is now bringing relief from the recent heat and humidity from the northern and central Plains into the Midwest and East. A second cold front is expected to make its way into the Plains and Midwest early next week, and yet another cold front will bring a reinforcing shot of cooler air into these areas around the middle of next week.

A ridge of high pressure will bring above average temperatures to parts of the West, while a southward dip in the jet stream will allow cooler than average conditions to persist in parts of the central and eastern U.S.

Meanwhile, high pressure aloft will build over the West, leading to above average temperatures, along with dry conditions.

Plains, Midwest, East Forecast

High and low temperatures will generally be near or below average across the central and eastern U.S. through this weekend.

Highs will top out in the 70s for much of the Midwest and Northeast this weekend. Parts of the Southeast will see highs in the 80s, due, in part, to increased cloud cover and thunderstorms with the front draped across the South.

Lows will be in the 50s and 60s in the Midwest and Northeast this weekend, with a few 40s in the northern Great Lakes and northern New England.

This mild trend will last into Monday throughout the East before temperatures begin to warm again.

However, the northern and central Plains, as well as the upper Midwest, will experience another cold front early next week. Many locations here will see temperatures 5 to 15 degrees cooler than average into midweek. Highs will be in the 60s and 70s with widespread lows in the 50s.

Forecast Highs

By late next week, cooler conditions might extend farther south and east. Areas along the East Coast – especially New England – have a better chance of warmer temperatures due to a ridge of high pressure to the east.

(MAPS: 10-Day Forecast

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center highlights parts of the northern and central Plains and mid-Mississippi Valley as having the highest chance of cooler than average temperatures to end August and begin September.

Temperature Outlook

West Forecast

By early next week, a heat wave will build in parts of the West.

High temperatures 5 to 15 degrees above average will stretch from western Texas into parts of the Northwest to start the week. This means highs in the 100s in parts of Texas, the Southwest and into portions of central California and southwestern Oregon.

A few daily record highs are possible early in the week, mainly in Texas and the Four Corners region.

By the middle of the week, temperatures will return a bit closer to average in western Texas, but the heat will persist in the Pacific Northwest. Highs will climb into the 90s in Portland, Oregon, and into the 80s in Seattle.

Forecast Highs

Temperatures might return closer to average in some areas of the Southwest later next week as monsoon moisture could increase.

Otherwise, much of California, the Great Basin and the Northwest have an increased chance of above average temperatures as September begins.

(MORE: Fall Temperature Outlook

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