Fox News Weather Center

Protect your plants: Midweek chill, frost to grip northeastern US

Parts of the interior mid-Atlantic and New England will have the risk of scattered frost, while other areas experience a nighttime and morning chill during the middle to latter part of the week.

While the air will not be as cold as that of this past weekend when snowflakes flew in some areas, clear skies and light winds at night could be enough to allow frost to form in the normally cold spots of the region.

Wednesday night will bring the greatest risk of frost.

A close call with frost may occur in some of the same locations on Thursday night.

"Frost will be mainly confined to the higher elevations across the interior Northeast and well away from major metropolitan areas," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson. "Since most places will not fall below 30 F, we are not expecting this to be a widespread killing frost."

The frost risk will extend from parts of West Virginia and western Maryland to central and northern Pennsylvania, upstate New York, Vermont and northern New Hampshire. Cloud cover may keep temperatures above freezing over much of Maine and areas farther southeast in Virginia and Maryland.

"The average date for the last frost, where frost is expected this week usually runs from the middle to end of May, so having frost this time of the year is not that unusual," Anderson said.

"From Pennsylvania and the southern tier of upstate New York, on south, this Thursday night will likely be the last risk of frost for the season," Anderson said.

In most of the coldest northern tier locations, around Memorial Day weekend is the cutoff for the last killing frost.

People living in the traditional late-spring frost areas should either bring potted sensitive plants indoors or cover with a blanket or container for protection. Be sure to remove the cover soon after sunrise in the morning.

Plants at risk include most annual flowers, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash. Cold weather vegetables, such as lettuce, peas, cabbage, and radishes, as well as perennial flowers should weather the light frost without problems.

The daytime weather during the latter part of this week will be significantly warmer than this past weekend. However, temperatures will lag behind average for the date. Average highs typically range from the lower 60s in northern Maine to the upper 70s in southeastern Virginia.

People along the coast or in extensive urban areas such as New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Cleveland will still need a jacket when venturing out during the evening and at the start of the day at midweek.

Enough sunshine is forecast from Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey to upstate New York and Maine to bring afternoon temperatures to the point where many will be able to shed those jackets during the middle and latter part of the week.

People farther south in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and southern New Jersey, including Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Richmond, Virginia, will have to wait for warm sunshine until Thursday and Friday.

Clouds, rain and jacket weather are likely to overspread much of the mid-Atlantic and southern New England during part of this weekend.

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