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    Extended period of springlike warmth to surge into midwestern, eastern US

    By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
    February 18, 2017, 1:28:00 AM EST
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    After a series of winter storms blasted through the Northeast this past week, warm weather is in the forecast for much of the country.

    A southwesterly flow of air that began over the Plains at midweek will continue to expand eastward tihs weekend.


    Dry weather promoted by this pattern will extend the snow drought in the central U.S., increasing the likelihood of a record-breaking winter.

    “The northern branch of the jet stream will retreat into Canada late this week, allowing warmth to surge northward over the central and eastern parts of the country,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Max Vido.

    The jet stream is a high-speed river of air found at the level of the atmosphere where jets cruise at. South of the jet stream warm weather is often present.


    Temperatures spiked to over 20 degrees Fahrenheit above average this week across much of the Plains.

    “The warmth will mean widespread snowmelt,” said Vido.

    Temperatures high enough to cause considerable snowmelt will spread from the Upper Midwest to the Northeast.

    Despite a seasonable average high temperature of 46, St. Louis reached 71 on Thursday. Temperatures will challenge record highs in the city into next week.

    Chicago is also poised to set multiple record high temperature readings. The record on Friday of 60 set in 1880 has been shattered with temperatures surging well into the 60s.

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    “Daytime high temperatures will rise to 15-25 degrees above normal, delivering an early taste of springlike warmth,” said Vido.

    In New York state and New England, subfreezing nighttime temperatures will allow some of the snowpack to survive the mild weekend. In part of the region, there is more than 2 feet of snow on the ground.

    Motorists and pedestrians should keep an eye out. Where there are piles of snow around, melting and freezing cycles can lead to areas of black ice during the nighttime and early morning hours.

    “Cities like Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore, and Washington D.C., will either challenge or break the 60 mark on Saturday and Sunday,” said Vido.

    warmfront 5am

    Chilly air is projected to lunge southward across the Northeast during Sunday and Monday. Temperatures will spike ahead of the chilly air, but may fall back to near average in its wake for a time.

    Warmer air is likely to surge back in during the middle part of next week.

    “As the jet stream remains mostly to the north early next week, expect a prolonged period of above-average temperatures in the eastern half of the country,” said Vido.

    A more significant batch of cold air is expected to push from west to east across the country late next week, bringing a slow end to this taste of spring.

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