While temperatures will be on the rise across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic through Tuesday, how long the warmth lasts after that will depend whether cold or warm air wins an upcoming battle.
The warmth could last through most of the workweek ahead of the storm set to bring a blizzard to Denver and an outbreak of severe weather across the central and southern Plains.
Temperatures could soar into the 70s northward to Burlington, Vt., and into the 80s as far north as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pa., when the warmth peaks on Thursday.
How far south a cold front, set to arrive on Wednesday, can press through the Northeast and mid-Atlantic will determine whether the second half of the workweek feels more like the beginning or end of spring.
AccuWeather.com meteorologists currently expect the front to press southward across New England and upstate New York, halting the opportunity for further warming during the remainder of the week.
The cooler temperatures that would arrive Wednesday and Thursday would also be accompanied by clouds and a chilly rain. There could even be snow along the rain's northern fringe if temperatures fail to rise out of the 30s across far northern New England.
The warmth would hang on farther to the south across the mid-Atlantic until the storm from the Plains ushers in cooler air and rain Friday and Saturday.
While there was still concern over the weekend that a stronger blast of cold air will follow Wednesday's front, leading to a noticeable drop in temperatures as far south as Washington, D.C., by Thursday, it no longer looks like cold air will make it that far south.
Instead, the front will stop somewhere along the border of Pennsylvania and New York state.
Highs in the 40s and 50s would be common from Portland, Maine, to Boston, Mass. Thursday and Friday in this scenario, while the 80-degree warmth is suppressed to Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The solution that would lead to the 70-degree warmth as far north as Burlington, Vt., would only pan out if the front fails to drop south of Canada.
Along the final resting spot of the cold front, AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski stated, "It is possible that a 20- to 40-degree temperature contrast sets up over the same number of miles at the local level."
With that statement, it is easy to see why the Northeast and mid-Atlantic are facing such a temperature dilemma--one that can be quite common during the transition months of spring and fall.
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