DC to NYC, Boston: Cool, Wet Weather to Precede Memorial Day

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
May 22, 2014; 4:53 AM ET
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Play video AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams discusses the weather in detail in the East.

After a few more days of unsettled, cool weather, things are looking up for the weather by Memorial Day in much of the East.

Showers and thunderstorms have returned to the Northeast and will keep the region unsettled through the start of the holiday weekend.

As more humid air moves in, temperatures will bounce to average levels or above for the middle of May over the mid-Atlantic. Highs will range from the upper 60s F around Boston, to the lower 70s in New York City and into the lower 80s around Washington, D.C.

Cool air will only retreat so much and will then put up a battle into Thursday in the form of areas of rain and thunder.

According to Meteorologist Brian Thompson, "Thunderstorms in the mid-Atlantic on Thursday will bring disruptive downpours, locally gusty winds, thunder and lightning and even hail in some locations."

locally drenching, gusty storms will also affect New England.

A puddle of chilly air in the upper levels of the atmosphere will continue to promote a mosaic of showers and spotty thunderstorms Friday into Saturday in the Northeast, along with a separate zone of thunderstorms over the Carolinas.

In addition to interfering with outdoor activities, the showers and thunderstorms through Saturday could lead to some slowdowns for those traveling to Memorial Day destinations.

AAA Travel projects 36.1 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, which is defined as Thursday, May 22, to Monday, May 26.

The number of projected holiday travelers is up from the 35.5 million people who traveled last Memorial Day, AAA reports.

As this chilly pocket settles in aloft, temperatures will dip below normal for a couple of days with highs in the 50s over the northern tier to the mid-70s in the southern mid-Atlantic.

Moving forward through the Memorial Day weekend, the overall trend in the weather for the East will be for less shower and thunderstorm activity and a warming trend with a few exceptions.

The vast majority of the mid-Atlantic states will be free of rain Sunday and Monday. However, the odds of being soaked by a shower or thunderstorm will be about 1 in 3 over New England and eastern New York state on Sunday.

By Memorial Day, there will still be about a 1 in 5 chance of getting a shower over northern New England and northern upstate New York. The odds of getting rained on will increase to about a 1 in 3 chance over the Carolinas, Georgia and northern Florida, especially in the western portions of these states and includes Atlanta, Charlotte, North Carolina, Greenville, South Carolina, and Pensacola, Florida.

High temperatures on Memorial Day will generally range from the 70s in northern New England to the 80s across most of the mid-Atlantic to the upper 80s and lower 90s in much of the South. There will be a few pockets of cool air at the beaches and along the shores of lakes Erie and Ontario.

If you are planning on heading to the beach or taking a dip in your unheated pool, keep in mind waters are still rather chilly this time of the year. For example, water temperatures range from the middle 50s in the Long Island surf to the lower 60s in the waters around Delaware. Some spring-fed lakes and ponds can be significantly colder. Cold water shock is a threat for anyone jumping into the water.

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