Milder air to expand across more of midwestern, northeastern US into early week

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
December 17, 2017, 1:27:13 AM EST

While waves of arctic air will continue to pour across the Great Lakes and New England this weekend, milder air will surge farther northward early this week.

If you haven't had a chance to put up outdoor Christmas decorations just yet and the recent cold blast has the project on hold, an opportunity to work outdoors without the risk of numb fingers and frostbite will arise.

Arctic air to sound temporary retreat

Following the arctic blast of late that brought AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures in the single digits and below zero, it may feel 35 to 70 degrees warmer.

Temperatures rebounded to the 40s F from Cincinnati to Indianapolis and Chicago on Saturday. In St. Louis, temperatures flirted with the 60-degree mark.

Temperatures have also rebounded across the mid-Atlantic. A high of 50 is expected for Washington, D.C., on Sunday as temperatures return to the lower 40s in Philadelphia.

"While a high in the middle 40s is more typical for Philadelphia this time of year, Sunday's high will feel much more comfortable than when temperatures were stuck in the 20s on Friday," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.

Sunday Dec 16

The milder air will continue to surge farther north early in the week.

"Temperatures will climb back into the 30s across northern Michigan on Monday, while Tuesday will be the warmest day since early December from the Ohio Valley to the Northeast," Pydynowski said.

Temperatures are expected to climb to near 60 in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore and the 50s in Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York City. A high in the upper 40s is anticipated for Boston.

Tuesday Dec 16

Some of the accumulated snow around the Great Lakes, central Appalachians and New England will turn to slush this weekend. Some of the snow may disappear.

An exception will be northern New England, where arctic air will be reinforced and reluctant to leave.

Period of rain, ice and/or snow to ride with warmup

Accompanying the warming trend will be a weak storm system.

Some people working outdoors or commuting may have to deal with a bit of rain or a touch of snow and ice as the milder air moves in.

"While the storm has the potential to bring a soaking rain to parts of the South, it may struggle to bring much moisture into the Midwest and Northeast," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

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A bit of rain is likely in the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic, while a light wintry mix may occur in parts of the lower Great Lakes and central Appalachians.

A touch of snow or spotty flurries is most likely across the upper Great Lakes, upstate New York and central and northern New England.

Timing on the precipitation will be from into Sunday night over the Midwest and from Sunday night to Monday in the Northeast.

Early week Dec 16

People are urged to avoid making outdoor electrical connections in wet weather, while decorating for the holidays. Wait until the plugs are dry. Only use outdoor-approved power cords and plug into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet to reduce the risk of fire and electrocution.

A brief push of cold air will slice across the Upper Midwest and Northeast by midweek.

A second surge of mild air is likely by or during the Christmas holiday weekend, while another blast of cold air plunges across the central U.S.

It is along this zone of distinctly different air that an unsettled pattern will set up along a 2,200-mile long swath of snow, ice and rain from the southern Plains to New England from the weekend before Christmas through New Year's Day.

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