Pi Day was was warmer than, well, pie.
Scores of temperature records fell again on Wednesday, in some areas for the third straight day, making this unusual pattern a sort of March heat wave.
For warm weather fans, the news is good. The warmth is settling in and doesn't look like its in any hurry to leave, with 60s, 70s and even 80s expected to stretch from the Plains to the East Coast through next week.
As Meteorologist Dan DePodwin pointed out in an earlier story, residents in this area can put away their winter jackets for the week. The same advice will likely hold true next week, as spring officially gets under way.
The warmth, however, will not be uniform, at least for the next few days as several features on the weather map will keep temperatures cooler in some locations.
A lake breeze, known locally to some as a "pneumonia front," will cool Chicago today, while a backdoor cold front will knock several degrees off Wednesday's readings in New York City and Philadelphia.
Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski has more on these flies in the ointment.
Elsewhere, short-sleeved shirts and even shorts will be the appropriate outdoor attire for the next several days.
Similar warmth will persist well into next week across much of the area highlighted above.
"I wore shorts and went out golfing for the first time this year on Wednesday," said AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Mark Miller.
Mark certainly wasn't alone, as record highs fell in dozens of cities. Some of the records had previously stood for decades, while others weren't just broken, but shattered by several degrees.
Here is a list of some notable record highs from Wednesday:
|City, State||New Record||Old Record, Year|
|St. Louis, Mo.||86 degrees||82, 1971|
|Jackson, Tenn.||84 degrees||80, 2007|
|Charlotte, N.C.||83 degrees||82, 1973|
|Nashville, Tenn.||83 degrees||83, 1967 (tied)|
|Kansas City, Mo.||82 degrees||82, 1935 (tied)|
|Memphis, Tenn.||82 degrees||80, 2007|
|Chicago, Ill.||81 degrees||77, 1995|
|Des Moines, Iowa||81 degrees||75, 1997|
|Milwaukee, Wis.||78 degrees||76, 1995|
|Atlantic City, N.J.||77 degrees||75, 1990|
|Eau Claire, Wis.||76 degrees||66, 2010|
|Marshfield, Wis.||75 degrees||65, 1990|
|Minneapolis, Minn.||73 degrees||64, 2010|
|Bridgeport, Conn.||70 degrees||64, 2006|
In Grand Rapids and Traverse City, Mich., it was the earliest 80-degree day on record. For residents of the Wolverine State, the unusual warmth is a shocking turn of events compared to the beginning of the month, when parts of the state still had 1-2 feet of snow on the ground.
Hundreds more records are expected to fall into the weekend and through next week in what might go down as an unprecedented early-season warm spell.
The warmth will be to the level that it could help to trigger summerlike scattered thunderstorms almost every afternoon.
Some of the storms could turn gusty, beginning with today's batch.
Between 3 and 6 feet of snow and plunging temperatures have left thousands snowed in over upstate New York, and the cold and snow has taken lives.
A storm riding a surge of springlike warmth will bring a round of severe weather including the risk of a few tornadoes this weekend in the South as Thanksgiving travel begins.
After a pause in the lake-effect snow on Wednesday, more bands of heavy snow will continue to pummel areas downwind of the Great Lakes, including northern and western New York, Thursday into Friday.
A shift in the weather pattern in early December will deliver some relief for the 200 million people across the U.S. being blasted by bitter air.
There will travel trouble spots for Thanksgiving travel through Wednesday including areas of winterlike conditions and rain-related issues.
Following waves of arctic cold and snow, more typical of January, a few days of springlike weather are on the way for the South, Midwest and Northeast starting this weekend.
Chicago, IL (1985)
November precipitation record: 7.65 inches (old record of 6.95 inches set in 1982). Note: November 1985 ended up with a total of 8.22 inches in city of Chicago.
State College, PA (1989)
A severe thunderstorm with an unofficial wind gust of 80 mph. Four hours later, there were snow flurries and a coating of snow.
Rapid City, SD (1996)
Temperature at Rapid City was 21 degrees. At an elevation of 5,000 feet, it was 50.