Despite the change in seasons, more cold air and potential snow are in the offing next week for parts of the Midwest and East.
The recurring cold weather is likely to persist into the first part of April and will cause difficulties for collegiate and high school baseball games, soccer, golf, lacrosse, track and field and other outdoor sporting activities.
Cold air is again building up over the Arctic and is forecast to push southeastward across the Canada Prairies late this week. The new surge of cold air will enter the Upper Midwest early this weekend and is projected to reach the interior South and East Coast by early next week.
A second push of cold air will push southeastward during the middle part of next week.
According to AccuWeather.com Long Range Weather Expert Mark Paquette, "It is almost unthinkable, but it appears that a flow of air straight from the Arctic will develop again."
Temperatures may struggle to reach 32 F on one or more days from parts of the central Plains to the Midwest and Northeast. Highs may be in the 20s F over the northern tier states from Montana to Maine.
At their peak, temperature departures may be 15 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit below average in some cases.
In between the two pushes of cold air, an area of disturbed weather along an advancing front could slowly organize into a significant storm system.
"It is too early to say for sure if everything will come together to make a large snowstorm and exactly where that will be," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said. "But, if you go by pattern repetition this winter, the odds favor a significant snowfall for part of Atlantic Seaboard during the middle of next week."
There will be other factors to consider along with the track and strength of the storm, such as the extent that snow melts as it falls due to the March sun effect during the daylight hours.
"While Major League Baseball may catch a break from the cold for opening day games in Pittsburgh, Detroit, New York City, Milwaukee, Chicago and Cincinnati on March 31, the overall chilly weather pattern is likely to persist through the first week of April," Paquette said.
Recall that last season similar cold and snowy weather early on forced multiple games to be postponed. The New York Mets had back-to-back games snowed out on April 14 and 15, 2013, one in Minnesota and the other in Denver.
Given the expected weather pattern for the start of this year's regular season, there is a chance of snow for a couple early-season games.
The pattern for the end of March into the first few days of April 2014 will not be as cold, relatively speaking, compared to the past couple of months. However, the weather may only be warm for couple of days here and there from the northern Plains to the Midwest and Northeast.
The back-and-forth pattern may not break up until the second week of April, when temperatures in the Midwest and Northeast will swing to near to above normal during the majority of the time.
Normal High Temperature for April 15
For MLB fans wanting to experience true warmth for opening day, consider heading to Australia. Two games are being played outside of the U.S., in Sydney, Australia, on March 22 and 23, and will open the regular season.