The start of spring is nearly two weeks away, but some areas of the US will feel more like summer this week.
"The record warmth will be felt mainly across the Plains and Midwest, with dozens of records possibly broken over the next few days," said CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen.
Temperatures will be running as much as 30 to 40 degrees above normal for these areas. With highs reaching the 70s for places as far north as the Dakotas and Minnesota.
Some records won't just be broken, but shattered. Nearly 40 high-temperature records could be broken by Wednesday.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, is forecast to reach a high of 68 on Tuesday, breaking its old record of 61 that dates back to 1879. Fargo, North Dakota, could even break a record. The temperature should reach 65 on Tuesday, breaking a record of 58.
Other cities that could break records include Sioux City and Des Moines in Iowa and Dodge City, Kansas.
The warm, dry air is also leading to an elevated fire risk across the Plains. Nearly 5 million people are under a red flag warning through Tuesday for much of eastern Kansas, western Missouri and a small northeastern corner of Oklahoma. Even southeastern Colorado is under a red flag warning.
"A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior," the National Weather Service said.
Winds will be gusting 20 to 40 mph in some locations, increasing the risk of a small fire quickly growing out of control. The extreme heat and low humidity levels will help fuel the risk for the first half of the week, then huge changes will come.
"The warm air will be short-lived, with some locations in Minnesota and North Dakota seeing records today and tomorrow and snow by the end of the week," said Hennen.
Severe storms midweek
The strong cold front that will bring an abrupt end to the warm temperatures will also bring severe weather.
"This looks like the first classic severe weather setup of the season," said Hennen.
"All the ingredients could be in place including a storm system tracking through the Plains, cold arctic air to the north, colliding with warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico."
This could lead to severe storms and even tornadoes across Tornado Alley on Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday night. Places like Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita need to be on the lookout for the strongest storms.
As these showers and storms set up across this region, some of these showers could start to "train," resulting in flooding.
Training develops when heavy rainfall continues over the same areas, like train cars on a track. It creates greater flooding potential because of the relentless, non-stop nature of the rain.
We could see 4 to 5 inches of rain Wednesday and Thursday from northeast Oklahoma to southeast Kansas and much of Missouri. The rain will finally move out by the weekend.