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Northeastern US to finally escape winter's grip this week

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The northeastern United States will finally catch a break from shots of arctic air and snow this week, but it may take until later in April for spring warmth to dominate.

Milder air will surge back into the Northeast on Monday, helping residents forget the snow and winterlike cold that started April.

Temperatures will climb back into the 70s in Washington, D.C., the 60s in Philadelphia and the 50s in New York City and Boston.

A swing in 10-20 degrees will occur from highs this weekend to Monday in many communities. Syracuse, New York and Pittsburgh were among the places that failed to see temperatures rise out of the 30s on Saturday.

Showers, however, threaten to spoil outdoor plans, especially away from the coast. Before the milder air takes hold, a period of wintry mix will spread from the eastern Great Lakes to northern New England into Monday.

While the Northeast will thaw out on Monday, it will not mark the start of a warming trend. However, the region will not have to face another shot of arctic air when a cold front passes through Tuesday into Wednesday.

After blasting into the Midwest, the core of the cold in the front's wake will just give the Northeast a glancing blow.

Temperatures will take a tumble back to below-normal readings Tuesday into Wednesday, but will fall well short of the chilly readings from the weekend.

The I-95 corridor will escape freezing temperatures these nights, while widespread subfreezing lows will once again remind residents around the Great Lakes and Appalachians Mountains that it is too early to plant their gardens or flower beds. However, record lows will not be challenged.

How the rest of the week for the Northeast unfolds will depend on the evolution of a storm that is expected to form along the tail-end of the front.

"The storm may become stalled off the mid-Atlantic coast late this week and weekend," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Andy Mussoline said.

"Should the storm meander near the coast, it would send plenty of clouds, occasional rain and chilly air into the Northeast."

It could feel downright raw for a time near the coast if the rain is falling amid a cold wind off the water.

Even if the storm and its rain remain offshore, cooler-than-normal air may still flow in and prevent warmer air set to surge into the central U.S. from expanding eastward.

Regardless, residents will not have to worry about the storm leading to a repeat of this winterlike weekend. The air will not be cold enough for snow to return and extend the wild winter that set various records in the Northeast.

After the storm departs, there are still signs of spring warmth having more of a presence in the Northeast later in April.

"A warmer regime will likely take hold of the Midwest and East toward the latter half of April," AccuWeather Meteorologist Ed Vallee said. "The pattern overall will be near to above normal with respect to temperatures."

In typical spring fashion, cooler air will attempt to fight back at the warmth.

"While warmth will return later in the month, areas of high pressure skirting along the U.S./Canadian border will bring a flow out of the east, keeping things cooler at times east of the Appalachian Mountains," Vallee said.

Many residents will still have to hold off plans for getting an early jump on planting sensitive vegetable or plants.

"It is still possible to see frost and freezes in much of the Appalachians, Northeast and Midwest [in late April]," Vallee said. "The average last frost dates in these areas is usually some time in May with some areas in the higher elevations of the Appalachians and Upper Midwest not until early June."

"Farther south in parts of the coastal mid-Atlantic, the threat for a freeze is quite low this time of year, so planting can begin in places like Washington, D.C., and Richmond," Vallee said.