Temperatures soared into the lower to middle 90s Tuesday afternoon and it may only be the beginning of an extended heat surge across the Southeast. A massive ridge of high pressure above the surface will build over the eastern quarter of the United States by Memorial Day Weekend and will likely stay in place for the first week or two of June. Most afternoons will see highs in the lower to middle 90s along and west of Highway 17. Beaches will hover in the middle 80s on most days but highs could reach 90 degrees on the coast at times. The heat will be coupled with dry conditions. Only stray to isolated thunderstorms are likely to develop in this heat dome. The combination of moderate of occasionally high relative humidity values will send heat indices to around 100 degrees most afternoons. Memorial Day is the unofficial start of the summer season. It looks like we've beat it by several days.