Monday’s official start to spring will not mean an end to winter cold plunging back into the northeastern United States this week.
After snow re-coated parts of the Northeast this weekend, spring will commence on a seasonable note on Monday. Astronomical spring officially starts at 6:28 a.m. EDT.
“Warmer air from the south will trickle into the Northeast on the first day of spring,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Brown said.
A chilly morning will give way to highs of near 40 F in the interior of northern New England to the 50s from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh.
The milder air will prevent snow from mixing with the rain set to spread from the lower Great Lakes to the mid-Atlantic on Monday into Monday night. However, spotty snow showers will still dot the interior of northern New England at night.
Similar highs will follow on Tuesday.
The region’s snow cover will take a hit early this week, causing minor rises on area streams and rivers. Where temperatures drop below freezing at night, residents should be advised for icy spots on untreated roads and sidewalks.
However, winter will fight back at midweek and put the brakes on the melting snow and force residents to pull heavier jackets back out of closets.
Arctic air will first blast into the upper Great Lakes on Tuesday before descending over the Northeast by Wednesday.
Cooler air will spill into the Southeast, but will stop well short of bringing a repeat of the widespread record-breaking and subfreezing temperatures the region endured last week.
Rain and snow showers will accompany the arctic blast into the northern and eastern Great Lakes and northern Appalachians. A period of snow showers and squalls may briefly follow downwind of the Great Lakes.
If the advancing cold air catches up with rain streaking from the Ohio Valley to the mid-Atlantic, the rain could mix with or end as snow along the I-70 corridor on Tuesday night.
With the arctic air in place, midweek will feel more like January across the Northeast.
Highs on Wednesday will be 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit below normal with the core of the cold settling over New York state and New England. AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will even be 10-15 degrees lower due to a brisk wind.
“The lowest temperatures are expected to occur on Thursday morning,” Brown said.
Widespread lows in the single digits and teens will encompass most of Pennsylvania and into New England.
“Morning lows this cold are even considered below normal for the typical winter months,” Brown said.
Lows in the 20s will also have those along the I-95 corridor from New York City to Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., turning up the heat and bundling up before heading to school and work.
The battle between spring and winter will continue later this week as warmth should briefly surge back in.
However, the cold may linger long enough for rain along the leading edge of the warmup to briefly fall as snow and/or ice.
“The greatest chance of snow and ice on the front end of the storm is in northern New England and the upper Great Lakes,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
The warmup will once again ramp up snow melt. At this point, the risk is low for a storm from the Midwest dropping enough rain next weekend to enlist fears of widespread flooding in areas that were buried by 2-3 feet of snow during the Blizzard of 2017.
The flood risk would increase if the storm takes a more southern track or is able to tap into more moisture and produce more substantial rainfall than latest indications.