AccuWeather predicts winter won’t quit any time soon, but it won’t last as long as 2018

By Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather staff writer
February 04, 2019, 6:44:11 PM EST

Despite the fact that Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring, AccuWeather forecasters are expecting that winter won't let up anytime soon.

It may come as disappointing news to many in the central and eastern parts of the nation, which are currently enduring record-breaking Arctic cold.

While frigid air may ease back a bit in the first and second week of February, the reprieve will be short-lived.


In this Feb. 2, 2016, photo, Groundhog Club handler John Griffiths holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather predicting groundhog, during the annual celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

AccuWeather Expert Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said: “The pattern will lock again for the second half of February with more cold and stormy weather for the eastern half of the nation.

El Niño’s active southern storm track may hold back any significant warmth from reaching the Northeast or Great Lakes into early March.”

One or two big snowstorms may also be in the offing.

The Midwest is set to endure reinforcing shots of cold from Canada for the remainder of the season, reminding many that spring is still several weeks off.

Meanwhile, the Plains and parts of the West could have a week or so of above-normal temperatures beginning in the second week of February before more seasonable air returns.

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It’s not all bad news for warm-weather fans, however.

According to Pastelok, the spring season will make a quicker return than in 2018, when snow and cold lasted into April followed by a quick transition to summer’s heat.

He said: “This year we’ll see a better transition, with some spring weather expected across the nation.”

AccuWeather’s full 2019 US spring forecast - which will break down the season across the country - is set to publish on Wednesday, Feb. 6.

This week’s episode of Everything Under the Sun covers two topics. First, host Regina Miller talks to Punxsutawney Phil's handler, John Griffiths for a fun look at the history and tradition of Groundhog Day. Then, Regina discusses the Polar Vortex with AccuWeather's long range team. What is it, and what impact will it have on the length of the winter cold? Tune in to find out!

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