Following above-normal warmth early this week, temperatures plummeted dramatically across the I-95 corridor of the Northeast Wednesday night. Such drastic temperature drops have set the stage for a rapid freeze-up on roadways and promote conditions conducive for pothole development and even water main breaks.
Temperatures will plummet by as much as 35 degrees Fahrenheit in less than 24 hours along the I-95 corridor from New York City and Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. Following Wednesday, highs in the upper 50s in New York City, middle 60s in Philadelphia and low 70s in Washington, D.C., lows will drop into the 20s in these major cities on Wednesday night.
Any wet or slushy areas could freeze up rapidly on roads, creating slippery and hazardous travel conditions Thursday morning. Sidewalks could also turn icy and treacherous.
Besides creating dangerous icy spots, the temperature swings can lead to other concerns for motorists.
"With the rapid thaw then freeze this week, (new) potholes will be a concern," AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams said.
Already with the icy grips of winter followed by major thaws, potholes are a widespread problem in the major I-95 cities. Late in February, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio set aside $7.3 million to facilitate and accelerate the extraordinary number of road repairs needed this winter.
"Water mains may also break as the temperature roller coaster occurs," Abrams said.
So far, temperatures in March are averaging well below normal across the Midwest and Northeast.
Temperatures will moderate back to normal across the Midwest and Northeast late in the week, before yet another cold blast arrives over the weekend.
While there will be frequent swings in temperatures moving forward in March, the cold spells are likely to be more punctuated.
On the heels of a mild November, December will start with well above-normal temperatures across all of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Snow and ice will swing across parts of the central and northern Plains to the Upper Midwest as November ends and December begins.
After the brief shot of chilly air this past weekend, the month of December will start out mild across the Northeast.
December will begin with a roar across the Northwest as rounds of rain, mountain snow and even ice are in store this week.
The reprieve from heavy rain across southern India will not last with the threat for flooding downpours set to return for the final day of November.
Studies show that heart attacks increase in December and January each year.
Huntington, WV (1985)
First November on record with no snow.
Minneapolis, MN (1991)
A total of 46.9 inches of snow during November 1991 established a new all-time record for any month.
Buffalo, NY (2001)
The month was the mildest, most snow-free Novembers in history. There was not a flake of snow the entire month, which was the first time since records were kept.