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Fox News Weather Center

Winter to Briefly Loosen Its Grip on the East

After the early week snowstorm, the eastern half of the United States will welcome a break from frigid temperatures this week. However, some flooding and severe weather are concerns.

The disruptive snow set to cross the Midwest and Northeast through Tuesday will not be followed by a blast of arctic air, which has been all to common this winter.

Instead, a stretch of above-normal temperatures will follow for the middle and latter part of this week across the eastern half of the U.S.

While those in the South will be able to do so, residents farther north should not get ready to break out the shorts.

The deep snowpack that has built up following the recent onslaught of storms will limit how much warming can take place in the Northeast and Midwest.

"The sun's energy will first focus on melting the snow before warming up the lower atmosphere," stated AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

Regardless, several days of highs in the 30s will be common across the Great Lakes this week.

Later in the week, temperatures will climb to around 60 F in the Ohio Valley and the nation's capital. New York City and Philadelphia will experience one or two days in the 50s as Boston flirts with that mark.

The milder temperatures will lead to rain, not snow, for most of the eastern U.S. Thursday through Friday. The storm delivering the rain may also ignite severe weather across parts of the middle and lower Mississippi Valley on Thursday.

Flood Threat to Accompany Warmup?

With the impending warmup and such a deep snowpack covering the Midwest and Northeast, the threat of flooding is likely on the minds of many.

The good news is that widespread severe flooding is not expected to ensue since the warmup should not be dramatic enough to erase the snowpack.

Even after the milder end to the week, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Jim Andrews anticipates that snow will still be covering the ground north of I-70 from Indiana eastward.

That does not mean any flooding problems will be avoided.

The snow will still partially melt and could cause rises on some smaller streams and rivers.

The cycle of above-freezing temperatures during the day and subfreezing nighttime lows across the Great Lakes and most of the Northeast will help regulate the amount of runoff that enter streams and rivers.

Additional rises may occur with the rain Thursday and Friday. However, a torrential amount of rain is not expected to pour down and significantly bring rivers out of their banks.

Ice jams are possible on any currently frozen waterway.

Minor urban flooding could occur where snow piles are clogging storm drains. Such issues may arise in Chicago, Detroit, Boston, New York City and Philadelphia.

Andrews warns that more roofs that are not cleared of the heavy snow could collapse during the upcoming mild spell. The snow will soak up the rain that falls later this week like a sponge, leading to added weight and stress on structures.

Warmup Not a Sign of Things to Come

The rise in temperatures this week is not a sign of things to come for the remainder of the winter.

"A blast of arctic air will erase the mild temperatures early next week [the week starting on Feb. 23]," stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Mark Paquette.

"The trend will then be for a cold March to follow across the East, while the jet stream bulges north and brings more unseasonable warmth to the West."