So Tired of the Cold! When Will It End?

March 31, 2011; 8:06 AM
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Bill McGee shovels snow from in front of a business near Spring Street in Williamsville, N.Y., Wednesday, March 23, 2011. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

After putting up with a harsh, frigid winter and now a cold start to spring, many people across the northern tier of the U.S. are sick of it and wondering when it's going to stop!

While a brief break is in sight for some this weekend into next week, the AccuWeather.com Long-Range Forecasting Team is still warning that chilly weather, overall, could last into May or even June. This means more late-spring snow events are likely at least into April.

Good News First

Starting with the good news, the cold will ease across the Northwest late this week, the Upper Midwest this weekend then areas farther east into the Northeast early next week.

While a brief shot of cooler air is expected to follow in the Midwest and Northeast, another round of milder weather will be on the way to these areas toward the middle or end of next week.

At the very least, temperatures are forecast to return near normal during this warm-up with some areas having above-normal highs for a day or two. The core of the warmth, however, is most likely to be farther south from the southern Plains into the Tennessee Valley and Southeast.

People who have been waiting to take care of outdoor chores may want to take advantage of the upcoming milder weather, as more cold air is expected to blast back in the following week.

Cold weather will continue to grip areas from the Upper Midwest to the Northeast through the late part of the week, while warmer air starts working its way into the Pacific Northwest. Throughout the weekend and first half of next week, the cold will gradually ease west to east from the Midwest into the Northeast.

Bad News: More Cold Coming

The AccuWeather.com Long-Range Forecasting Team anticipates the colder air that will be bottling up over the Northwest and western Canada next week to break out across the northern tier of the country during the second full week of April.

Thereafter, chilly weather is expected to be the norm again through the end of April and early May with temperatures averaging below normal. Some areas will be cold enough for more late-season snow to fall if the timing is right with storm systems.

For the Northeast, the final end to persistent colder-than-normal weather could come later in May. Paul Pastelok, leader of the Long-Range Forecasting Team, said that a shift in the overall weather pattern may allow warmer weather to start taking over during the middle of the month.

For areas farther west into the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest, however, Pastelok stated that chillier weather could stick around into June. This is also true for parts of the Pacific Northwest, especially areas closer to the coast.

Wintry Start to the Week from Midwest into East

Snow kicked off this last week of March across the Ohio Valley region and parts of the mid-Atlantic with several inches accumulating in some locations Sunday night into Monday morning.

Another round of snow was pushing through areas from the central Plains to the Lower Midwest Tuesday morning.

As for temperatures, lows Monday morning were more reminiscent of early February than late March from parts of the Upper Midwest into the Northeast.

Temperatures were in the single digits across areas of North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan and even below zero in places such as Land O' Lakes, Wis. In the interior Northeast, the week started with temperatures in the teens.

In Fargo, N.D., Tuesday was the sixth day in the row with low temperatures in the single digits.

Temperatures have been averaging well below normal across much of the northern tier of the country over the past week. The following is a list of temperature departures from normal from March 21-27 (values for March 1-20 are given in parenthesis):

-New York, N.Y.: -7.4° F (+3.7°)

-Philadelphia, Pa.: -4.8° F (+4.5°)

-Washington, D.C.: -3.5° F (+1.8°)

-Boston, Mass.: -4.9° F (+2.2°)

-Detroit, Mich.: -7.1° F (+1.5°)

-Chicago, Ill.: -5.9° F (+2.3°)

-Minneapolis, Minn.: -7.4° F (-0.5°)

-Fargo, N.D.: -10.1° F (-5.1°)


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