With springlike warmth surging back into the eastern United States, many are wondering if winter is over. The answer is yes in most communities.
"I believe that winter itself, the worst of winter, is over," AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecast Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said. "It is not uncommon for snow in spring in the Northeast, but we have turned the corner to spring."
"That is unlike the last two years when winter kept hanging on."
Last year, March averaged well below normal in the Northeast. New York City received nearly 19 inches of snow in March 2015, with the last measurable snowfall reading on March 20. The last day of measurable snow during the winter of 2014-15 in Boston was March 28.
After the mild middle of March 2016, "Temperatures will drop back to normal after March 19 for a period of a few days, but then we will warm right back up," Pastelok said.
Despite that cooldown and going forward through the rest of spring, "I do not see much in the way of snow."
Pastelok cannot rule out wet snow in the interior Northeast late in March or during the middle of April. "But, any snow event in central New England and the mid-Atlantic would be an anomaly of the pattern. These areas are pretty much done [in terms of snow]."
"However, eastern Canada and far northern New England are still at risk for snow in late March and April."
The lack of snow and cold expected elsewhere in the East is not good news for operators of ski resorts or snow removal companies but is welcome by those who look forward to spring activities.
That does not mean that residents should start planting their vegetable or flower gardens due to worries of a late-season frost.
The cooldown from March 19 to 23 is a time when Pastelok is concerned that the Ohio Valley, northern mid-Atlantic and interior Northeast could experience frost that "could have some impact on the most sensitive plants."
This week will instead be good to clean out the garage, rake, lay some mulch or even a little painting. Residents will have the opportunity to fire up the grill on more than one occasion.
Looking further ahead into spring, Pastelok said, "April will be slightly above normal in most places. The weather may not be fantastic since high pressure areas may set up to the north of the Northeast."
That would result in moist air flowing in from the Atlantic Ocean at times, leading to clouds, cool temperatures and possibly drizzle east of the Appalachian Mountains.
"But that is typical of spring," Pastelok said.
How frequent the Northeast and mid-Atlantic deals with such dreary weather will be dependent on how many highs settle north of the region.
Due to the occasional dull weather, "April may not be as warm when compared to normal than March and May," Pastelok said.
"Late in the spring, the Northeast and mid-Atlantic will turn drier and, as a result, hotter."