Warming trend to last beyond Memorial Day weekend in Northeast, Midwest
Persistent high pressure will dominate across the Northeast over the holiday weekend and into next week. Temperatures will rise to the mid-70s and low 80s for many locations and rain chances will be low.
The unofficial start to summer is nearly here, and people in the Midwest and Northeast who are planning to attend Memorial Day parades and barbecues, kick off long-awaited vacations or jumpstart home improvement projects are in for a special treat as an extended period of dry, warm weather is in store through the rest of the holiday weekend and beyond, AccuWeather meteorologists say.
"For New England, the upper mid-Atlantic and much of the Midwest, this Memorial Day weekend looks like one of the nicest from start to finish in recent memory," AccuWeather Meteorologist Dean DeVore said.
High pressure will extend from west to east from the Great Lakes to New England, acting as a roadblock by preventing moisture from a storm in the southeastern United States from reaching the region.
It appears that the northern edge of the rain will reach into Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and perhaps the southern parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio into early this week, forecasters say. These regions may see only occasional showers, but heading farther south for the holiday should be prepared for wet weather and stormy conditions.
On the northern edge of the storm's moisture, clouds are likely in portions of the mid-Atlantic, central Appalachians and Ohio Valley. Dry air in the lower part of the atmosphere will likely limit any rainfall to spotty showers during the latter half of the holiday weekend.
Across much of the Great Lakes and the interior Northeast, strong late-May sunshine will go to work on the cool Canadian air mass. For example, in much of the Chicago area, after peaking at 80 degrees on Sunday, temperatures will climb into the low to mid 80s on Memorial Day. Similar warmth is expected in cities such as Detroit and Pittsburgh.
Along the coast in the Northeast, and near the Great Lakes, temperature forecasts could become a little tricky due to the presence of lake and sea breezes.
"While water temperatures range from the 50s along the New England coast and mainly the 60s along the mid-Atlantic shoreline, the air temperatures will rise into levels that will be a bit above historical seasonal averages," DeVore said.
In the Boston and New York City regions, highs on memorial Day will be mainly in the 70s or even near 80. However, when and where a sea breeze occurs in some neighborhoods, daytime temperatures may dip into the 60s and perhaps even the 50s for a time.
As the swirling winds from the storm in the Carolinas press northward into the day on Monday, a much breezier day is expected along the Atlantic coast from coastal New Jersey through the Cape and Islands of Massachusetts. This means that if the low ocean temperatures don't keep swimmers out, it's entirely possible that red flags at lifeguard stations will. However, this risk is not expected to last long, as the wind gusts from the storm will ease into Tuesday.
Those who can extend their time off even further into this week will see even higher temperatures as the dry weather extends into the bulk of the week for much of the Midwest and the Northeast, DeVore explained.
Highs are projected to be in the 80s much of this week in Chicago, also approaching 90 in New York City by the end of the week. When sunshine returns in Washington, D.C., later this week, temperatures will rebound well into the 80s and may approach 90.
Dry weather is good news for many, but not for farmers
The absence of storms is great news for outdoor enthusiasts but not necessarily for those with agricultural interests. Following a chilly night with frost in the coldest spots of the interior Northeast this past Friday morning, the string of sunny days with low humidity and a warming trend will further dry out the soil.
The dry soil makes it easier to get plowing equipment into the fields, but seeds and young plants need ample moisture to sprout and grow. Some farmers could face hardship if the pattern lasts through much of June.
Rain soaked part of the Atlantic coast and areas a bit farther inland earlier this month, including in Foxborough, Massachusetts, where Taylor Swift was performing. However, very little to no rain fell over the interior Northeast.
May rainfall in Washington, D.C., stands at around 10% of normal with less than 0.50 of an inch of rain so far compared to a historical average near 4 inches for the entire month. In some of the agricultural areas of southeastern Pennsylvania, such as the zone from Reading to Lancaster, May rainfall is well under 10% of the historical average.
Similar conditions have occurred in parts of the corn belt in the Midwest. Exceptional drought continues for much of the Plains, according to the latest United States Drought Monitor report released on Thursday.
AccuWeather's team of long-range meteorologists, led by Senior Meteorologist Paul Pastelok, believes that some rainfall may return toward mid-June, but a much-needed soaking may not occur everywhere.
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