Fox News Weather Center

February-like Chill to Grip Midwest, East First Weekend of Spring

The calendar says it's now spring but winter refuses to loosen its grip on the Midwest and Northeast.

This will certainly become apparent this weekend and into next week as a blast of arctic air pours southward out of Canada.

The first three weeks of March have been unusually cold across much of the eastern half of the United States, especially in the Northern states.

Most locations across the Great Lakes, for example, are running 7-9 degrees Fahrenheit below average through the first 20 days of the month. Most locations in the Northeast have experienced temperatures on average 5-8 degrees Fahrenheit below normal through the same period.

The arctic air will move into the Midwest and Great Lakes during the first half of this weekend behind a cold front. Gusty winds behind the front will make it feel even colder.

This front will push through the Northeast late this weekend. The bitter cold will remain in place through the middle of next week. meteorologists expect temperatures to be 15-25 degrees below average this weekend into next week for places such as Chicago, Minneapolis, Minn., and Green Bay, Wis.

The first half of next week will be the coldest period in the Northeast, when temperatures will be 10-20 degrees below average.

High temperatures could struggle to get to 40 F in New York City during the first half of next week, compared to an average high in the lower 50s. To put this in context, the forecast temperatures are typical for middle to late February.

High temperatures in parts of New England on Monday will not get out of the teens and 20s.

Outdoor sports such as baseball, soccer, lacrosse, golf, track and field and other activities will continue to ramp up this weekend and next week. The cold will likely cause problems for participants and spectators at the collegiate and high school level.

The cold could force the cancellation or postponement of some scheduled events.

This new blast of arctic air, along with other factors, could potentially lead to the development of a large snowstorm along the Atlantic Seaboard by the middle of next week.