Warm wave next week for eastern half of nation

May 20, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
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Play video Elliot and Evan ponder the coming warm-up.

A warm weather pattern will build in place over much of the eastern half of the nation next week.

At the surface, a zone of high pressure off the New England coast will strengthen and expand westward, then southwestward next week, encompassing much of the eastern half of the nation.

Meanwhile, in the upper levels of the atmosphere, the jet stream will bulge northward, working to lock up chilly air over northern Canada.

Strong May sunshine will take its toll on an air mass that is marginally cool in the first place.

The warm-up will follow a slow-moving storm system bringing severe weather to the middle of the nation into Friday and showers and thunderstorms to the Northeast this weekend. The rain will bring a temporary cool down, following warmth to close out the week.

One the high pressure area takes hold, expect multi-day period of 80-degree-plus temperatures in many areas with comfortable night time conditions.

The most extreme warmth may unfold around the Great Lakes and into Central Ontario and southwestern Quebec.

One trouble area will be along the southern Atlantic Seaboard, where the season's first part-tropical system may come into play with showers and stormy conditions.

Additionally, a sea breeze may keep temperatures in check in the coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic and New England. This can happen when steering current become so light that cool ocean air must rush in to take the place of rising warm air over the interior.

At any rate, for those in the Northeast who have not yet planted their warm-season vegetable garden, you may be able to get a head start on the traditional planting during the Memorial Day Weekend. For all but people in northern New England, it appears the threat of frost has now past for the season.

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