Memorial Day Weekend Brings Record Cold, Triple-Digit Heat, and Stormy Conditions

Wire Service
By Wire Service
May 29, 2021Weather
Memorial Day Weekend Brings Record Cold, Triple-Digit Heat, and Stormy Conditions
This image shows Memorial Day weekend brings record cold, triple-digit heat, and stormy conditions, on May 29, 2021. (Courtesy of CNN Weather)

While Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer, it may actually feel like summer across the West while the Northeast will endure instead record cold temperatures and heavy rain.

If you do have outdoor plans, the best weather overall will be across much of the western United States and Southeast, with warm-to-hot temperatures and dry conditions.


The Northeast will be anything but dry for much of the Memorial Day weekend. Two storm systems will move through the Mid-Atlantic and up the coast toward New England, bringing widespread rain with it.

This first storm will track over the Northeast on Saturday, continuing the wet weather from Friday. Showers and isolated thunderstorms will be present much of the day in the Mid-Atlantic, especially near the coast. During the midday hours, there could be a break in between the two storm systems.

More widespread rain is likely in southern New England on Saturday morning, with lingering showers into the afternoon. There could be pockets of heavier rain by the coast in the pre-dawn hours, but flash flooding is not expected to pose much of a concern considering the below-average precipitation so far this year.

Coastal flooding from this storm will be possible Saturday night from Delaware through Long Island and Connecticut.

To the north, across Upstate New York and northern New England, it will likely be dry, with partly sunny skies on Saturday.

This image shows forecast rainfall accumulation for the Northeast through Monday, on May 29, 2021. (Courtesy of CNN Weather)

Sunday will be another wet, ugly day to celebrate the holiday weekend. The rain shield will span farther north this time, nearing the Canadian border in New York and northern New England. There will also be areas of heavier rain, likely focused near the I-95 corridor from Philadelphia through Boston as deep moisture streams up the East Coast of the United States.

This stint of rain will clear from west to east, likely ending in most of the Mid-Atlantic by Sunday evening. This process will be slower in New England.

Western New England should be dry, with partly sunny skies, by Monday while in eastern New England, especially southeastern Massachusetts, showers will possibly continue through Memorial Day on Monday.

The remainder of the Northeast will be nice on Memorial Day, with partly cloudy skies, making for prime weather to have a barbeque or sporting games.

Unfortunately, temperatures will be cool through the duration of the weekend so for some, it may be better staying inside anyway.

Saturday will be the coolest day with high temperatures for many only in the 50s. These highs are more common in March than late May, and record cold afternoon temperatures are expected for over 40 cities too. That includes New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and the District of Columbia.

A gradual warming trend will begin early next week, so by Monday temperatures will get closer to average but still 5 to 10 degrees below normal, after being up to 20 degrees below average on Saturday and Sunday. Highs on Monday will be in the 60s and 70s across much of the region.


The Southeast will be in for better weather this weekend compared to the Northeast, but some areas of the region will still face a few thunderstorms.

Spotty showers and storms associated with the second storm over the Northeast will be possible Saturday in the Carolinas, southern Georgia, and the Florida Panhandle. Isolated severe thunderstorms will be possible on and near the Outer Banks, containing the threat of damaging winds.

Showers and storms will also be possible near the Gulf Coast, mainly in Louisiana. Otherwise, the day will be partly cloudy across the region.

A positive to this weekend’s weather will also be the dry air, with low humidity for all but Florida and the immediate coast.

Storm Prediction Center’s severe weather outlook, with purple shading indicating the risk on Saturday into Saturday night and the pink shading indicating the risk on Sunday into Sunday night, on May 29, 2021. (Courtesy of CNN Weather)

Sunday will be nicer across the region, with sunshine and a few clouds around. The only chance for rain will be in Florida, with a few afternoon thunderstorms possible.

The forecast will remain the same on Memorial Day, with dry and sunny weather in the Southeast while the risk for thunderstorms will continue in Florida and possibly southern Georgia.

Beach weather will be prime for many, including on the Outer Banks, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and Pensacola. There is a moderate risk for rip currents this weekend along some of the northern Gulf Coast and Georgia to Carolinas beaches.

Temperatures will be cooler than normal across most of the region this weekend, but below average this time of the year does not mean it will be cold.

Highs on Saturday will be 10 to 20 degrees below average inland, near average at the Gulf Coast, and above average on the East Coast, but the entire region will return to near average by Monday.

This translates to actual temperatures generally in the 70s and 80s throughout the weekend. Highs will be around 90 on the Florida Peninsula.


Nice weather is in store for the Midwest this Memorial Day weekend overall. There will be the occasional chance for a passing shower but many locations should be dry.

Showers will be possible in the eastern Ohio River Valley and western Minnesota on Saturday. The remainder of the Midwest region is expected to be dry and generally sunny.

Sunday should be drier overall with clear skies for most, making for great weather to walk around Chicago, for instance. A few showers will remain possible in the Upper Midwest, however.

By Monday, we will watch for a few light showers sneaking into parts of the Midwest, including in Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota while the Ohio River Valley and eastern Great Lakes keep the nice weather around. It will be a good day for boating on most of the lakes.

Temperatures will be cool, with highs generally in the 60s on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The Ohio River Valley will be even cooler with temperatures maxing out in the 50s on Saturday due to the showers.


Stormy weather will also be common in parts of the Plains this weekend in addition to cooler than normal temperatures.

Saturday, a round of showers and spotty thunderstorms will track east across the northern Plains. That region will dry out during the evening while scattered thunderstorms develop over the southern High Plains.

Some of these storms could turn severe, especially in southeastern Colorado and northeastern New Mexico, according to the Storm Prediction Center. Those storms will continue Saturday night, posing the risk for flash flooding.

Sunday will likely be a wetter day, with the chance for rain and thunderstorms extending further east into the southern Plains, while the northern Plains and much of Texas should be dry and nice. The risk for severe storms will continue for eastern New Mexico and West Texas.

On Memorial Day, heavy thunderstorms will continue to threaten the southern High Plains region, but some rain showers could extend into the central Plains.

It will be important to follow the weather forecast and keep your eye on the radar this weekend, especially if you plan to host or go to any events outside.

Temperatures will be cool and will continue to decline as the weekend progresses. Highs will go from 10 to 15 degrees below average in the Plains on Saturday to up to 20 degrees below average Sunday and Monday.

This means actual high temperatures will only be in the 60s and 70s for most areas, except for southern parts of Texas where it will be in the 80s and 90s, which is closer to normal.


Like the Southeast, the West will also be a region with great weather this weekend. Most locations will be dry and warm, as temperatures rise heading into next week.

This image shows Forecast high temperatures in the Northeast this weekend, on May 29, 2021. (Courtesy of CNN Weather)

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday will all be generally sunny and beautiful except for higher clouds sneaking into parts of the Northwest thanks to a storm system moving into Canada.

Rain and thunderstorms are likely in Colorado and New Mexico.

Saturday will be the “coolest” day out of the extended weekend but temperatures will still be 5 to 10 degrees above average. Highs will be in the 60s and 70s for most of the Northwest and 90s and 100s for much of the Southwest. Coastal areas will be cooler thanks to the chilly ocean temperatures, with highs there in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

Temperatures will rise Sunday and by Monday, there could be record heat in the Sacramento Valley of California as highs climb into the triple-digits.

Elsewhere, highs will be up to 20 degrees above average from central California through the Pacific Northwest, meaning temperatures will reach the 80s and 90s on Memorial Day. Highs will remain in the 100s for the desert Southwest Monday.

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