Amid the chilling February depths of winter, the eastern United States is about to enjoy a burst of spring-like temperatures arriving this week, according to forecasts.
Northeast residents eager to shake off the cold will be delighted at the arrival of above-average temperatures by mid-week — even though their stay may be brief.
Last week, locations across the Northeast caught a glimpse of warmer days when major cities reported temperatures 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit above normal for this time of year. Places like Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore all rose to the 60s late week.
“Temperatures in these cities average in the 40s during the day in mid-February, so the warmth last week was a breath of fresh air for those looking to spend time outdoors after a seasonably chilly January,” AccuWeather meteorologist Jessica Storm said.
After Northeast coast residents were met with a brief round of snow and below-average temperatures this weekend, the new week will bring a change.
A building high pressure in the eastern U.S., as well as a major storm forming in the center of the country, will contribute to drier weather for the first half of the week and the increasing temperatures midweek.
High temperatures in places like Pittsburgh and New York City are only expected to be in the 20s on Tuesday, but will steadily increase over the next two days. By Thursday afternoon, when the peak of the heat is expected, these cities are expected to be in the 50s and 60s.
“Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., are both forecast to have temperatures climb back into the middle or upper 60s, which is 15-25 degrees Fahrenheit above normal,” noted Storm.
Temperature swings in the Northeast could be as drastic as an increase of 35 degrees in just two days. A few locations may come within a few degrees or even challenge record temperatures on Thursday.
Philadelphia is expected to come close to its daily record high of 68, previously set in 1976. Additionally, Springfield, Mass., could surpass its daily record high of 50 set in 2012 with a forecast high on Thursday of 59.
Overnight lows mid- to late week will also be increasingly mild compared to nights that precede and follow. While low temperatures typically drop to the upper 20s in Philadelphia, they could instead fall to only the upper 40s, which could feel balmy compared to the usual winter chill.
While this shot of spring-like warmth is expected to peak Thursday, the chance for rain may spoil outdoor plans. For some across the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic, even though Wednesday will not be as warm, it may turn out to be the nicer of the two days with drier conditions expected.
The late-week pattern may give some residents a chance to open their windows and enjoy some time outdoors briefly. Rising temperatures can also provide homeowners a short reprieve from hefty heating bills that are prevalent throughout the winter months.
Although a surge of warmer weather may be welcoming to some, winter lovers and avid skiers may end up disappointed with the upcoming temperature boost and rainfall. Any lingering snow or ice accumulation on grassy surfaces will likely be melted and mostly washed away by late Thursday. After Wednesday, locations across the mid-Atlantic region and interior New England may not reach below-freezing temperatures until late Thursday night.
Heading into next weekend, AccuWeather forecasters say high pressure will likely return to the Northeast following the late-week storm. This will bring a brief spell of cooler air likely allowing temperatures to linger closer to normal for this time of year. Even still, mild conditions are expected to return before the end of the month.