A large swath of the country stretching from Texas to the Dakotas is expected to face another round of scorching temperatures through Monday, possibly even hotter than last week’s heat wave.

The Central Plains are expected to see highs in the 90s and low 100s, with a heat index that could reach 100-110 degrees during the hottest parts of the day, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters say the heat wave will gradually move east over the weekend, shifting away from the northern plains.

“This heat is on the earlier side, you’re looking at potential record-breaking heat across the northern plains, upper midwest this weekend,” AccuWeather senior meteorologist Tyler Roys told USA TODAY.

Temperatures are “about 15-25 degrees above average” in the middle of the country according to AccuWeather.

On Saturday, southern Minnesota was under an excessive heat watch and other parts of the north-central U.S. were under a heat advisory.

The southeast was also under a heat advisory, with the National Weather Service warning of “hazy, hot, and humid” weather.

While the middle of the country swelters in the heat, the West Coast, Great Lakes, and northeast will experience considerably cooler-than-normal temperatures this weekend, forecasters say.

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Why is the extreme heat happening before start of summer?

High atmospheric pressure from a ‘heat dome’ has been causing rising temperatures to stick around, while preventing storms from bringing cooling rain.

Roys said weather patterns slow down when there’s high pressure, so the heat dome is “kind of like a roadblock,” forcing storms to go around it.

Prolonged, severe drought in much of the southwest has been feeding the heat dome even more than normal because drought-stricken ground bakes even faster under the hot sun.

“Well the ground is already dry, so there’s no moisture in there at all, so that air is able to rise faster,” Roys said.

Meanwhile, storms in the West are going to help push the heat eastward early next week. As the heat dome inches east, the lower Midwest will also see scorching high temperatures.

Around Tuesday, Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri could possibly see temperatures in the 100s, Roys said.

As next week goes on, highs in the 90s are likely in Washington and Pittsburgh.

The good news, Roys said, is that the heat in the lower Midwest and near the Ohio River Valley and mid-Atlantic won’t last as long as last week’s heat wave.

“The big difference is, compared to last week, much of this heat — it’s not going to be several days in a row,” Roys said.

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