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.
The risk of flooding downpours and gusty thunderstorms will spread toward southern Florida as a tropical disturbance shifts northwestward from Cuba.
Following a tropical threat for the United States Gulf coast next week, an uptick in tropical systems will continue for the next six to eight weeks.
After showers threaten to spoil outdoor plans over the weekend, Monday will feature great weather for the bank holiday in Wales and England.
On the heels of deadly Typhoon Mindulle, Typhoon Lionrock is poised to make landfall in Japan early next week with heavy rainfall, damaging winds and an inundating storm surge.
Slow-moving and repetitive downpours will raise the risk for flash flooding along the western Gulf Coast into early next week.
Relief from the heat baking Germany this weekend will come by early next week, but not before violent thunderstorms threaten northern areas to end the weekend.
East Coast (1971)
Tropical Storm Doria paralleled East Coast, causing serious flooding. It also spawned a tornado in Cape May County, NJ.
Cedoux, Saskatchewan (1973)
Largest hailstone ever recorded in Canada. This stone was 4.5 inches in diameter and weighed a pound.
The Bronx, NY (1990)
Strong thunderstorms dumped 4.24 inches of rain.