Joe Lundberg

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Storm Exits, but Cold Stays

March 25, 2013; 9:16 AM

Monday, 11:00 a.m.

Uncle.

Have you had enough of winter? I know, I know. Last spring was soooo warm so early. We knew we weren't going to get that again. And we have seen wintry weather deep into April, yes, even into the second week of May. However, the accompanying cold this year has been relentless. Record lows were set Sunday in Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. More records will be threatened tonight from the eastern Rockies and southern Plains all the way to the Southeast. That could be the case again tomorrow night, too.

Enough is enough!

In terms of storminess, this could be the last generalized snowfall for many places, so that's a glimmer of hope heading into April. That doesn't mean it won't snow again in places like St. Louis (unlikely), Chicago, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C. (unlikely), New York and Boston, but to have the same storm hit pretty much all of those cities with snow (and a bunch of others, too), especially with as much snow as has fallen with this one, seems very unlikely.

It is, after all, almost the end of March!

What lies ahead?

Well, for starters, the finishing touches on this storm. As the coastal storm deepens this afternoon then moves southeast of Cape Cod tonight, the snow will end from west to east across the mid-Atlantic this afternoon and evening. It will snow for a while in southern New England, but there the snow amounts will not be all that great, and it will be over with long before the morning rush on Tuesday.

However, behind the storm, the cold won't be stopped. Indeed, it's already much colder into the northern half of Florida behind the cold front attached to this storm, and it will be even chillier tonight and tomorrow into tomorrow night across much of the South and into the Southeast.

In addition to the cold, there will be some snow showers in and around the Great Lakes, the Ohio and Tennessee valleys and the Appalachians into the Northeast. The air aloft will be very cold, and that will contribute to the instability that will lead to some of these snow showers. In some locations, it will warm just enough during the day to allow some of those falling snowflakes to melt into raindrops. Precipitation amounts won't be all that impressive, generally a tenth of an inch or less for the grand total the rest of the week.

By the way, it won't be cold everywhere. In fact, the West will be quite the opposite. Look at the coast-to-coast forecast temperature anomalies for Wednesday:

This means 80s for highs in the Southwest deserts, maybe a few 90-degree readings and warming to the 60s over the interior Northwest later in the week. Then, as an upper-level low rolls toward the California coast late in the week and at the start of the weekend, it will force some of the warm air through the Rockies into the western Plains. Look at the projected anomalies for Saturday:

And that will just keep on coming east this weekend and early next week, then winter will be over, right? Um, no. Not quite.

There's still a problem downstream in the Atlantic with this thing called 'blocking,' a feature that won't allow all of that warm air to come all the way to the East Coast. Oh, it will turn warmer this weekend to be sure, but the warmth will, unfortunately, be fleeting. A cold front should drive across the northern Plains and Midwest Sunday and sweep off the Northeast coast Monday night, bringing still another very cold air mass for so late in the season across the playing field. Now, it is unlikely to get anywhere near as far south and west as this current air mass, and it may not last as long, either. That said, it will be colder than normal for a few days from the northern Plains to the mid-Atlantic and New England. And where it's cold and any storm attacks from the west and southwest, snow still has to be a part of the equation.

We're making slow progress. By the middle of April, it will be much nicer, plain and simple.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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About This Blog

Joe Lundberg
Joe Lundberg, a veteran AccuWeather.com forecaster and meteorologist, covers both short and long-term U.S. weather on this blog.