How long will the break from cold last in the midwestern, northeastern US?

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
January 22, 2018, 2:04:58 AM EST

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The same storm spreading travel-disrupting snow across the central United States will prevent the January thaw from lasting to midweek in the midwestern and northeastern United States.

Residents from the South Central states to the Northeast are catching a break from the recent cold snap that allowed snow to fall deep in the South.

"The warmest day in this stretch will be on Monday across much of the Midwest and Ohio Valley ahead of an approaching cold front," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Thompson said. "Tuesday will likely be the warmest day along the East Coast."

The exception to the warmth in the Midwest will be across far northern areas where the snowstorm will unfold.

Tuesday’s warmth in the Northeast will come after a glancing shot of colder air trims temperatures in northern and eastern New England into Monday.

Warmth Jan 21

"At the peak of the warm stretch, temperatures will be running 15-30 degrees above average, which is a sharp contrast to the bitter cold that has gripped the Midwest and East for the past 3-4 weeks," Thompson said.

While the milder air may be welcome by many hoping to catch a break on heating costs and the strain of work outdoors amid the frigid conditions, there are some disadvantages/hazards.

The risk for ice jams and localized flooding is expected to rise across the northern states, while fog can develop and plague drivers and air travelers.

Ski resorts may have to contend with melting snow and not being able to make fresh snow. Companies that rely on snow removal will experience a down time.

Northeastern US interactive radar
Storm to raise flood risk in parts of northeastern US into Tuesday night
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Ice floes, jams can pose major dangers during winter and spring

However, residents should not pack away their winter jackets and snow shovels just yet.

A cold front crossing the Midwest on Monday and the Northeast on Tuesday will open the door for colder air to sweep away the mild spell.

"Temperatures will drop to around average for late January, but this drop may not feel very noticeable because the chillier air behind the front will not have nearly the bite of the arctic blasts that were almost constant during the first half of January," Thompson said.

Snow showers will accompany the arrival of the colder air and can create slick spots across the lower Midwest states and to the central and northern Appalachians Tuesday into Wednesday.

Timing Jan 20

By midweek, highs across the Midwest will range from the 20s in the upper Great Lakes to the 40s in the lower Ohio River.

Brisk winds are expected to start to usher the colder air back into the Northeast on Wednesday.

Highs on Thursday are then expected to range from the upper single digits and teens in the St. Lawrence Valley to the upper 20s in Boston and the 30s from New York City to Philadelphia. Temperatures may still crack the 40-degree mark in Washington, D.C.

During the harshest cold snaps earlier this month, temperatures were held to the single digits or even below zero near the Canadian border and the teens and 20s along the I-95 corridor.

Residents will still want to bundle up later this week as chilly winds will create even lower AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures.

The building warmth in the South will also get trimmed by the cold front. However, the highs in the 50s and 60s that are expected for later in the week are right where temperatures should be for late January.

As quick as temperatures tumble across the eastern half of the nation, warmer air may make a comeback.

"The next storm [to cross the central and eastern U.S.] looks to develop around Jan. 27-28," AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Evan Duffey said. "The surge of warmth east of this storm should be pretty significant."

The track of the storm may allow the warmer air to pour across all of the Midwest and East for a time before colder air following the storm quickly returns.

If enough cold air catches up to the backside of the storm, a period of snow may also unfold across a part of the Midwest and Appalachian Mountains.

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