Fox News Weather Center

Surge of milder air to arrive in eastern US for start of February

February 2016 will begin with a surge of mild air across the eastern United States, the polar opposite of February 2015.

"February will begin with a significant change to the weather pattern across the eastern United States," AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey said.

Ahead of a storm system forecast to bring snow and severe weather to the central United States during early February, mild air from the Gulf of Mexico will surge northward and bring a stretch of above-average temperatures.

"While the Blizzard of 2016 brought significant snow and cold across the mid-Atlantic states, the next few storms will track to the north and west of the region, allowing mild air to build across the region," Duffey said.

Temperatures averaged more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit below average from New England to the mid-Atlantic during February 2015. To start February 2016, high temperatures will be between 5 and 15 degrees above average.

Temperatures will range from the 30s across northern New England to the 40s across southern New England to Pennsylvania, 50s across the mid-Atlantic, 60s across the Carolinas and northern Georgia to the 70s across Florida.

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Despite the milder weather, high temperatures will remain well below record levels.

Record-high temperatures will range from the 50s and lower 60s across New England to the 60s and lower 70s across the mid-Atlantic and 80s across the Southeast.

How mild it will get will depend on the interaction between the milder air and the current snowpack across the mid-Atlantic. A larger snowpack will limit the amount of warming across a region versus an area with little or no snowpack.

There is the potential some areas across the Northeast with little or no snowpack could be warmer than portions of the mid-Atlantic with a big snowpack for a day or two.

"In addition, as mild air moves into the region, fog could form at night over the snow-covered areas," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.

"The milder days will also continue to keep heating bills lower, a general trend for a large portion of the winter so far," Duffey said.

As the storm across the central U.S. heads northeastward, temperatures will be above freezing to allow precipitation to fall mostly in the form of rain. The rain along with mild air will melt the snowpack even quicker across the mid-Atlantic.

There may be enough cold air in place for some areas to start out as a period of snow or ice before changing over to rain.

Enough rain could fall to lead to small stream and river flooding from New York City and Washington, D.C., westward to the Appalachians.

Colder air will advance westward by the end of the week along with lake-effect snow developing downwind of the Great Lakes.

After one of the warmest Novembers and Decembers on record across much of the eastern U.S., January 2016 will end within a few degrees of normal in most locations.