The clock is ticking on stubborn cool air in the Northeast as summerlike warmth is forecast to break loose Mother's Day weekend and will continue into early next week.
Temperatures have been held to or below seasonal levels from Philadelphia to New York City and Boston, thanks to a persistent flow of air from the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The pattern is forecast to change dramatically from southwest to northeast this weekend as warm air from the west finally overwhelms the damp Atlantic air.
The warmup will be accompanied by a dose of drenching showers and thunderstorms, which could disrupt outdoor activities such as weddings and graduations on Saturday. However, by Mother's Day, the bulk of the rainfall will have moved away.
On Thursday, temperatures surged into the 80s F over western New York, central Pennsylvania, much of Virginia and the southern Delmarva Peninsula.
After progressing farther east over the coastal mid-Atlantic on Friday, temperatures will jump well into the 70s over much of New England and to near 80 around New York City this weekend.
According to Northeast Weather Expert Dave Dombek, "For much of the Northeast, this will be the warmest stretch of days with mild nights since early October."
Many areas will get even warmer on Monday. Temperatures could rival record highs for the date from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia. Ninety-degree highs are forecast from Virginia to the Carolinas, along with high humidity.
Cooler air along with showers and thunderstorms will settle into the region later next week.
"A back door cool front is likely to cut into the warmth in New England and the upper mid-Atlantic Tuesday to Wednesday," Dombek said.
While many are welcoming the warmth with open arms after a seemingly slow spring in the Northeast, people are reminded to not over do it in the summerlike conditions.
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, wear light weight clothing and avoid strenuous physical activity during the midday and afternoon hours when the sun is intense.
Never leave children and pets unattended in vehicles. Temperatures can soar to over 120 degrees in a matter of minutes.
Think twice before you take a dip. Water temperatures at area lakes, streams and the Atlantic Ocean are still chilly this time of the year. Use extreme caution if venturing into the water as there is the risk of cold water shock.
According to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boating Commission, cold water shock can occur even when water temperatures are above 50 F. Atlantic water temperatures from New York to Maryland currently range from the lower 50s to the lower 60s. Area streams and lakes may be significantly colder.