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Mild weekend to follow late-week rain, storms in eastern US

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Following a warm finish to the week with rain and thunderstorms in some areas, temperatures will trend back to near average levels this weekend.

The rain from Thursday night to Friday night will not be exceptional, but will be enough to dampen the ground in most places.

Thunderstorms are possible from the mid-Atlantic states on south. In parts of Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and northern Florida, a small number of the storms will be locally heavy and gusty.

In parts of the East, enough rain can fall to bring a thorough soaking and assist with recent building dry conditions and brush fires. Motorists should be advised of extra slick conditions as the rainfall will mix with a buildup of oil on area streets, highways and intersections.

The weather this weekend will dry out for most areas, creating favorable conditions for outdoor activities such as baseball, golf, track and field and cycling. However, there will be spotty showers to start the day Saturday in the mid-Atlantic and perhaps a stray thunderstorm during the day Saturday over the Florida Peninsula.

Along with the drier weather, highs will trend to near average levels for late April.

"The cooler air moving in this weekend will be gentle and brief," according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.

"Most warmups this spring have been followed by a nasty blast of cold air," Abrams said. "That will not be the case this time."

After high peak on Friday across the mid-Atlantic, temperatures will be shaved gradually from one day to the next through the weekend. For example, around New York City, highs will trend downward from near 80 F on Friday to near 70 on Saturday to the middle 60s on Sunday. The average high in New York City for late April is in the middle 60s.

In New England and upstate New York, more pronounced cooling will take place. Highs in Burlington, Vermont, will trend downward from the lower 70s on Friday to the middle 50s on Saturday and Sunday. The average high in Burlington is in the upper 50s this time of the year.

A breeze off the chilly Atlantic will enhance cooling along the New England coast on Sunday.

Farther south, temperatures will be the same or trend slightly upward from day to day as sunshine returns from the Carolinas to Florida. In Atlanta, highs will trend upward from the middle 70s on Friday to near 80 on Saturday to the lower 80s on Sunday. The average high in Atlanta during late April is in the middle 70s.