WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)

How will the early-March cold outbreak compare to others?

By Jesse Ferrell
2/28/2019, 3:03:43 PM

I wrote blogs back in early March 2014 and March 2015 about cold outbreaks in the Eastern United States. Next week's cold outbreak is not unlike those two but not quite as severe. These maps show the coldest mornings in the Eastern U.S.:

Early March Cold Outbreaks 2014 & 2015

This map shows the lowest temperatures expected with next week's cold snap:

24-Hour Low Temperature GFS

Here in State College, Pennsylvania, on March 5, 2015, we fell to -2 at PSU, which was a new record for the date (-8 at my house), and it was five years ago on March 4, 2014, that we fell to +7 at PSU (zero at my house). Next week could prove similar; we're forecasting around 6 degrees.

Mardi Gras 2014 set a new record low max of 41 degrees in New Orleans. It won't be quite that bad this year, but it will struggle to get out of the 40s there (and the normal high is 69!)

One big difference, however, will be the mid-Atlantic, which won't be reached by next week's cold air. Dulles airport in Washington, D.C., set a new March record with -1 degrees with the 2014 outbreak! We're only predicting 20 this year on the coldest morning.


Another is that the cold hasn't been as persistent this season -- in 2014, persistent cold air had the Great Lakes over 90% ice covered -- this year it's less than 70%.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)