Story highlights

  • Over 40 cities could see record high temperatures
  • Hot and dry weather will make for dangerous fire conditions
  • Drought likely to continue in the Southeast

What's causing the heatwave well into October? The weather pattern plays a big role.

A "Bermuda High" has set up a southwesterly flow of air over land. As that air continually passes over hot, dry land, it picks up more heat from the earth, which has been warmed by the mid-autumn sun.

Gusty, dry winds will also increase on Tuesday along with the heat. Record warmth will settle in, with temperatures again soaring into the 80s and 90s for many locations.

The core of the warmest temperatures will reside in the South and Southeastern U.S., but record-breaking temperatures will extend north, all the way up to Chicago, and eastward to New York City and Boston.

In fact, New York City could set seasonal highs on Tuesday and Wednesday, as temperatures climb into the 80's, breaking records that have stood since 1928.

The combination of hot temperatures and gusty winds will create dangerous fire conditions for much of the Central Plains, with close to 6 million people under red flags warnings. They indicate that conditions are ripe for fires to start and spread rapidly once they are sparked.

More heat without any rainfall is the last thing many in the Southeast need after a hot and dry summer has left several states facing extreme drought conditions.

Water restrictions are in place for many of the drought-stricken areas, forcing some to give up luxuries like green lawns or a car wash. That's to ensure there's enough water for necessities like bathing and cooking, as well as an adequate supply of water for use in fire emergencies.

Fortunately, seasonal weather should return for the east by the latter part of the week, as temperatures drop 20 or more degrees, providing ideal weather for your traditional fall festivities.