Century-old records could fall as historic February warmth moves into eastern US

It could be a historic end to February as multiple days of above-average temperatures could lead to more than 100 broken records from the Southeast to the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic starting today and continuing through the weekend.

An area of high pressure has settled across the Southeast, and that aided in the development of a powerful coast-to-coast storm system that will bring blizzard conditions and a significant icing threat to millions of people in the northern U.S.

Records could fall like dominos

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Potential record high temperatures Wednesday  ((FOX Weather))

Potential record-high temperatures that could be broken on Wednesday.

Much of the Southeast is expected to have multiple days of record-breaking heat starting today, with high temperatures in the mid-80s.

In fact, parts of Florida could break February records that have stood for years with high temperatures that could exceed 90 degrees.

Orlando, Florida, has only hit 90 degrees in February three times since 1892:

  • Feb. 25, 1962
  • Feb. 24, 1962
  • Feb. 15, 1935

The forecast calls for 90-degree temperatures in Orlando starting Wednesday and lasting through the weekend.

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With the warm air in place across the Southeast this week, record high temperatures are also in jeopardy from Texas to the Ohio Valley and into the mid-Atlantic. Records could fall from as far south as the Gulf Coast to as far north as New Jersey along the East Coast.

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Dozens of record-high temperatures are in jeopardy of being broken on Thursday ((FOX Weather))

More than 75 records are in jeopardy of being broken on Thursday, with some that have stood for more than 100 years. 

In Baltimore, for example, Thursday's forecast high temperature of 76 degrees will challenge its record of 78 degrees set in 1874.


Areas where record-high temperatures could be broken on Friday.

Another day of record warmth is expected on Friday, with most of them expected to break in Florida.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, will challenge its more-recent record high of 84 degrees set in 2018 on Friday.

Record cold in the West

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Expected wind chills in the West on Thursday and Friday morning. ((FOX Weather))

In the West, bitterly cold arctic air is returning with a vengeance.

A strong cold front dropped into the U.S. from Canada, and that will send temperatures plunging across the Northwest, portions of the West Coast and parts of the Rocky Mountains.

The coldest temperatures will be felt across the northern tier, where wind chills could drop to between 30 and 40 degrees below zero.

The record-breaking cold temperatures will likely occur closer to the West Coast.

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Dozens of record-cold temperatures could be broken in the West on Wednesday and Thursday. ((FOX Weather))

Many areas in the Pacific Northwest will see record-low temperatures on Thursday night and Friday morning, with temperatures getting into the 20s in places like Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

With cold air remaining in place through Friday, records across the West could fall as temperatures plunge below freezing.

Seattle, for example, may only get to the mid-30s for a high temperature on Wednesday, and Billings, Montana, could only have a high temperature of 1 degree.

Los Angeles, which is expected a powerful storm starting on Thursday that has prompted rare Blizzard Warnings in the mountains, will likely see a high temperature in the upper 40s on Thursday.