Unstable weather conditions are expected across much of the United States for the 2019 Memorial Day holiday. (Shutterstock, file)
DALLAS, TX — About 43 million Americans plan to travel 50 or more miles to observe Memorial Day — officially a somber holiday that commemorates the nation’s war dead, but also viewed by the tourism industry as the unofficial start to summer. The National Weather Service says Dallas should be partly sunny, with a high near 88 degrees, but depending on where you’re heading, that may not be the case.
Be sure to pack an umbrella, rain gear and an emergency plan if you’re headed to the central or western United States, where residents are reeling from days of violent weather.
Showers and thunderstorms are also possible from the western Great Lakes to the Northeast, and in the Southeast, be sure to pack plenty of cool, airy clothing and sunscreen. High temperature records could fall, forecasters say.
"It will feel like summer has already begun across much of the Southeast with record-challenging heat," said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Tom Kines, explaining that temperatures in the 90s to near 100 are expected, and oppressive humidity levels will push the feel-like temperature even higher.
That’s great news for people who plan to visit swimming pools and beaches, but The Weather Channel said the prolonged nature of the heat wave in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas could make it life-threatening for some people.
"Keep this all in mind if you have plans to head to the beach, a park, a Memorial Day observance or simply plan to hang out on your patio over the holiday weekend," The Weather Channel said. "Minimize your time outdoors during the hottest times of day, typically from late morning through late afternoon. Drink plenty of liquids and wear light, loose-fitting clothing if you must be outside for longer periods of time."
In areas where severe storms could kick off, it’s best to plan activities in the morning and early afternoon hours, before storms fire up late in the afternoon and evening. Evening campouts and concerts could be threatened by dangerous lightning strikes.
A spate of tornadoes and winds gusting at up to 80 mph have raked Texas, Oklahoma and other parts of the Southern Plains over the past several days, leaving widespread damage and some injuries in their path. Farther north, torrential rain created new and worsening flood problems, and that’s in the long-range weather forecast as well.