A youngster goes down the water slide at a pool in Dubuque, Iowa, on July 30, 2014. Cool summer temperatures have resulted in less business for local swimming pools, but that should change this week. / Nicki Kohl, AP
With about two weeks to go until Labor Day, most of the eastern half of the nation has escaped any real heat waves so far this summer.
That's likely to change - especially in the South - as a shift in the weather looks to be on the way for the last two weeks of August.
In much of the South and Southeast, "the upcoming weather pattern may deliver some of the hottest weather of this summer," AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
High temperatures are forecast to rise well into the 90s, with some spots nearing 100 degrees this week and into the weekend. Several states from Texas and Oklahoma to Tennessee, along with parts of Georgia and the Carolinas, should see their longest and most consistent stretch of heat this summer, Sosnowski reported.
Forecast highs may flirt with daily record highs in the Deep South, particularly starting Thursday, the Weather Channel reported in an online forecast.
In Missouri, the National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the St. Louis metro area for Wednesday through Sunday, potentially exacerbating the already tense situation in the suburb of Ferguson where protests continue over the police killing of a black teen.
Hot and humid conditions will persist through at least Sunday in St. Louis, the weather service notes, with heat indices near 105 degrees each day. KSDK-TV in St. Louis predicts "dangerous heat and humidity" later in the week.
A heat advisory is now in effect over most of the mid-Mississippi Valley region.
Farther south, the weather service has posted heat advisories for the Texas Gulf Coast this week, as the predicted heat index approaches 110 degrees. "Heat indices between 103 and 110 degrees are expected for the next several days."
The heat could be a shock to people in states such as Arkansas, which just enjoyed its coolest July on record. Little Rock could reach 100 degrees this week.
In the North, although "some heat will push into parts of the Northeast on occasion through the end of August," the worst of the warmth should be limited to one- or two-day stretches, Sosnowski reported.
The central Plains and Ohio Valley should also see above-average warmth in the next couple of weeks. So far this summer, places like Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids and Buffalo have yet to hit 90 degrees, the Weather Channel noted.
The heat will be ongoing in the parched western U.S., with mostly sunny skies and limited precipitation in the forecast.
Read the original story: Summer's last gasp to roast South