A dangerous heat wave will hit the southeast this Memorial Day weekend with near 100-degree temperatures or higher forecast for Jacksonville and inland areas of North Florida. Palm Beach County wllh only see slightly warmer than normal temperatures in the upper 80s.

A ridge of high pressure expected to build into South Florida as well as a forecast upper level ridge intensifying over the southeastern U.S. is to blame for the heat and dry conditions.

For some areas, blustery east winds will also pick up today with the highest gusts of up to 26 mph lasting through at least Saturday night.

"Temperatures and heat indices will rise to above normal levels for the start of next week, but easterly flow off the relatively cool/mild Atlantic may keep South Florida from being part of what looks to be a heat wave to the north," Miami-based National Weather Service meteorologists wrote in their morning discussion.

 Jacksonville meteorologists are forecasting record-breaking highs for the city on Memorial Day with 99 degrees expected to be the daytime temperature. Gainesville could also reach 99 degrees. Some interior areas, such as Alma, are forecast to reach 101 degrees on Memorial Day and 102 degrees Tuesday.

What defines a heat wave isn't very specific. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a heat wave is a "period of abnormally and uncomfortably hot and unusually humid weather. Typically a heat wave lasts two or more days."

Although rare, South Florida can also reach temperatures of 100-plus degrees, according to more than a century of weather data.

West Palm Beach has reached 100 degrees on four times during the months of June and July in the years, 1921, 1927 and 1942.

This story originally published to palmbeachpost.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the GateHouse Media network.