A blast of searing heat out of Africa's Sahara will thrust through the Arabian Peninsula to the Mideast Gulf on Thursday. The outcome will be widespread heat reaching at least 100 to 110 degrees over Saudi Arabia, southeastern Iraq, southern Iran and the smaller Gulf nations from Kuwait to Oman. The heat, however, will be moderated right along the water. Highest temperatures of between 110 and 115 degrees will be set over interior eastern Arabia.

Sunday and Monday, a weak cold front will afford limited cooling and even a few thunderstorms as far south and east as Kuwait and southernmost Iraq.

Otherwise, the high heat will persist next week.

Severe summer heat normally becomes widespread and persistent over Arabia during May. The upcoming heat is thus earlier than usual by a few weeks.

Story by AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews