Record heat continues across the Southern Plains Wednesday and begins expanding into parts of the Southeast. By Friday and Saturday, record warmth will extend into Mid-Atlantic and Northeast leading to the first 80s and 90s of the year for millions.
High temperatures, forecast to be 15 to 25 degrees above average in the coming days, will make it feel more like July or early August than mid-May.
Cities expected to set record highs through Saturday include Dallas, Atlanta, Memphis, Washington, New York and Philadelphia.
If New York hits 90 on Saturday, it will be about two weeks early for when they typically see the first 90 degree of the year which is June 3.
If State College, Pennsylvania, hits 90 it will be the earliest since 2009, and the first one for May since 2011.
The heat is also fueling severe storms across several regions of the country in the coming days.
On Wednesday, 4 million people are at risk for severe storms across the Ohio River Valley, parts of northern Minnesota and Wisconsin, and a small area including southeast Colorado, southwest Kansas and the Oklahoma Panhandle. Damaging winds will be the greatest risk, followed by hail. A tornado or two will also be possible.
On Thursday, the severe threat returns to the Upper Midwest, where 7 million people are under the risk for severe storms across portions of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Wind and hail will be the primary risks, followed by isolated tornadoes. Minneapolis and Des Moines, Iowa, are cities to watch.
By Friday, 25 million people will be at risk across the Great Lakes down through the Midwest. All storm hazards will be possible, and cities to watch include Chicago and St. Louis.
Farther west, 13 million people are under fire alerts across the 4 corners, Southwest and Rockies. Cities under fire alerts include Denver, Las Vegas, Flagstaff, Arizona, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The fire risk does include the area being affected by the Calf Canyon Fire in New Mexico which recently became the largest wildfire on record for the state.
From fire to ice, parts of Colorado will go from record warmth and fire danger to a spring snowstorm.
On Wednesday morning, a Winter Storm Watch was already up for parts of Wyoming and Colorado for a formidable snowstorm on the way.
The snow is expected to begin late Thursday and end Saturday morning. At the highest elevations, snowfall totals in the mountains could be 6 to 18 inches with locally higher amounts possible.
Denver, specifically, is forecast to see a rain and snow mix Friday night into Saturday morning. No accumulation is expected at this time in the metro area, but some thundersnow is possible.