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What a difference a week makes: Northeastern US highs to surge 20-40 degrees this weekend

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Eighty-eighty percent of people polled by AccuWeather stated that they are looking forward to a turn to warmer weather, and those in the northeastern United States will be treated to just that later this week and weekend.

High pressure taking up residence over the region is expected to promote a multi-day dry spell with high temperatures trending upward.

Residents will soon be trading heavy jackets, snow shovels and sleds that were used last weekend for sunglasses, t-shirts and grills. The recent string of baseball postponements and delays will end for games being played in the Northeast.

Temperatures this weekend should surpass the chilly highs from last weekend by 20-40 degrees Fahrenheit. Sunday is shaping up to be the warmest day of the weekend.

For places toward the coast, such as Boston, the warmup will be slowed by a northeasterly wind blowing in off the chilly Atlantic Ocean. A similar effect will occur downwind of the Great Lakes.

By Sunday, only the immediate beaches will likely be cooler than points inland as temperatures in the 70s encompass the mid-Atlantic and spread into parts of southern and central New England.

"It is a whole different regime [that we are entering]," AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams said. "Recent weather systems have been moving along, so there was not more than a couple of dry days."

"There were plenty of ups and downs with the temperatures and it was never able to warm up consistently," Abrams said. "Many places had cold rain or out-of-season snow."

On a day when temperatures typically rise to near 60 F, Pittsburgh endured a chilly high of just 35 F and 1.5 inches of snow last Saturday. This Sunday will feel dramatically different with sunshine boosting temperatures to near 75 F.

Throughout the Northeast, "Sunshine will be abundant for several days at least and each day will bring pleasant springtime warmups in the midday and afternoon," Abrams said.

Residents will still want to grab a jacket before heading out at night or in the early mornings as it will turn cool, but the number of places recording lows near freezing will gradually diminish from south to north.

"This type of pattern can be used for projects that require several days of dry weather since there is high confidence that there will not be any rain," Abrams said.

However, Abrams quickly stated that AccuWeather meteorologists are closely monitoring a couple of systems that could attempt to spoil weekend plans.

"The next system from the West will eventually reach the Northeast, but likely not until after the weekend," Abrams said, "but the biggest threat is an offshore storm since all it has to do is drift westward and we go from cheering to jeering."

"The difference will be from a sunny and 70-degree day to a drizzly and 40-degree day," he said.

A cold front will also be approaching New England from Canada later in the weekend. If the front arrives quicker than expected, the mild spell will be cut short.

Even if the warmth wins out, residents should resist the urge to get an early jump on planting sensitive vegetables or plants later this week and weekend.

After a cold shot that mainly impacts New England and upstate New York early next week, AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok is concerned for another and more widespread cold press around April 22-25.

"That makes me nervous that nights will get chilly across the whole Northeast," Pastelok said. "We are not looking at any snowstorms and it will not be as cold as this past weekend, but there could be frost concerns."