It will feel more like spring across part of the eastern United States next week as temperatures briefly soar to record-challenging levels.
Residents from Atlanta to Nashville to Washington, D.C., will trade in winter coats for t-shirts by midweek.
A major storm will take shape over the center of the country by Tuesday. Unseasonable warmth will then build on the southeastern side of the storm.
“Even though Punxsutawney Phil called for six more weeks of winter, to many in the Southeast it will feel more like mid-April than early February for a brief period next week,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Faith Eherts said.
Tuesday is shaping up to be the warmest day of the stretch, when records that have held since the 1900s could be in jeopardy throughout the Southeast.
“Throughout Maryland and Virginia, high temperatures on Tuesday will reach upwards of 15 degrees above average,” Eherts said. “Farther south, they may exceed 20 degrees above average.”
Widespread highs in the middle to upper 70s F are in store across the Deep South, with 60s and lower 70s in store for much of the Ohio Valley and southern mid-Atlantic.
“Temperatures will soar into the 60s as far north as Washington, D.C,” Eherts said.
A few of the cities that will challenge record warmth include New Orleans; Montgomery, Alabama; Atlanta; Jacksonville and Pensacola, Florida; Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; Nashville; and Washington, D.C.
The bulk of the warmth will fail to reach much of the interior Northeast and New England, where periods of snow and ice can occur early next week.
Most of Tuesday will be dry and sunny across the southern Atlantic Seaboard, which is great news for those who hope to enjoy the brief spurt of warmth by hiking, biking or walking.
Behind the passage of rain and thunderstorms late Tuesday and Wednesday, warmth will be whisked away and temperatures will fall back to within a few degrees of average across the Southeast.
The brunt of the chill will sweep across the Midwest and Northeast late next week as temperatures plummet to unseasonably low levels.
Temperatures may rebound once again across the Southeast and perhaps the mid-Atlantic as quickly as next weekend.