Taste of spring kicks off February in eastern US
By By Brett Rathbun, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist
February 02, 2016, 4:36:52 AM EST
The start of February will feel more like spring across the eastern United States as milder air surges in.
The warmth that brought the weekend to an end across the Eastern Seaboard will persist into Monday, causing the first day of February to feel like calendars were flipped to late March or early April.
Temperatures will soar into the 50s from Washington, D.C., to New York City to Boston.
The warmth will occur ahead of a cold front that will knock down temperatures some for Tuesday before more milder air surges back for Wednesday.
Temperatures on Wednesday will range between 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit above average. Some cities could challenge record highs before colder air builds back in.
Cities that may tie or break the record include Buffalo and Syracuse, New York; Burlington, Vermont; Boston; Philadelphia; and Washington, D.C.
This milder weather will also prevent the mid-Atlantic from dealing with another major snowstorm as the storm will instead bring blizzard conditions to the central U.S.
Instead, the storm will deliver rainfall to the Eastern Seaboard at midweek. Rainfall will range between 0.50 of an inch to 1.50 inches from the Gulf Coast to New England. Some locations of northern Maine may start out as a period of snow or ice before changing over to rain.
The rain along with the milder conditions should melt the rest of the snowpack that remains across the mid-Atlantic from the Blizzard of 2016.
This amount of rain along with the recent melting snowpack could lead to localized flooding, mainly near small streams, creeks and rivers.
"By the end of the week, there will be very little evidence that a blizzard occurred," AccuWeather Meteorologist Michael Doll said.
"Larger snow piles left behind by plows, however, will take a little longer to completely melt away," he added.
Commuters from Boston to D.C. will need to give themselves extra time leaving home as the heaviest rain is likely to fall during Wednesday afternoon.
Drivers should watch for ponding on roadways along all interstates across the East Coast.
Track the rain across your area by using AccuWeather Minutecast®.
Gusty winds with this system will be limited to the the mid-Atlantic coast. Gusts could exceed 30 mph from Cape Cod to the Delmarva Peninsula.
A few rumbles of thunder will accompany this rain, mainly from Maryland to the Southeast. The potential for stronger storms will be from southeastern Virginia into central Florida.
Damaging winds and hail will be the primary threats across the Southeast, but the strongest storms could produce an isolated tornado.
Locations with the potential for a stronger storm include Norfolk, Virginia; Raleigh and Fayetteville, North Carolina; Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina; Augusta and Savannah, Georgia; and Tallahassee and Jacksonville, Florida.
"Strong-to-severe storms could be moving through Atlanta metro during the morning commute Wednesday and reach Raleigh and Charlotte later in the day," Doll said.
Those traveling on Interstate 95 from Emporia, Virginia, to Daytona Beach, Florida, will need to be on alert for rapidly changing weather conditions.
Drier and colder weather will return to the entire East Coast by Thursday. Highs on Thursday will be between 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit colder than on Wednesday.
Enough cold air will be in place for bands of lake-effect snow to develop downwind of the Great Lakes.
There is the potential that a couple storms will attempt to develop off the Southeast Coast and track northward spanning the upcoming weekend and into the second full week of February. It is too soon to determine if these storms will brush the coast or remain out to sea.
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