Chattanooga residents, tourists and those who may get stuck in bumper-to-bumper holiday traffic likely will break a major sweat today as temperatures are expected to hit a steamy 94, tying a record high from 1962.
Paul Barys, chief meteorologist for WRCB Channel 3, said area temperatures will stay in the 90s throughout the Memorial Day weekend. He predicted a high of 93 degrees Sunday and 91 degrees Monday.
Those temperatures are above normal, but they won't touch the 95-degree record set both days in 1911 and 1962, according to the National Weather Service.
A high pressure ridge is causing the influx of hot temperatures in Chattanooga, said Jessica Winton, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Morristown, Tenn. It's a warm start to the summer months, but it's not indicative of how the rest of the season will pan out, Winton said.
"Just because it's hot now doesn't mean it's going to be breaking records all summer," she said. "We could still have average temperatures or even below-average weather."
The hot weather and anticipated holiday weekend pool use have kept Frank May, chief executive of The Pool Place on Perimeter Drive, plenty busy this week. Owners are scrambling to get their pools ready for the unofficial start of summer this weekend, producing "pretty insane" business, he said.
"There are about 10,000 pool owners in Chattanooga, and about 70 percent awaken their pools in the week preceding Memorial Day," he said.
But with the sizzling forecast, the rush to get pools up and running is understandable, he said.
"Pools become a focal point to draw people together over the summer," May said.
Looking ahead, Barys said temperatures will stay in the upper 80s through the rest of next week before the weather pattern "flips," producing temperatures in the 70s next weekend.