Rapid snowmelt to inundate Northeast during long-awaited warm-up

By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
February 04, 2019, 2:26:29 AM EST

Following record-breaking chill across the Midwest and Northeast this past week, a surge of relatively balmy air is moving into the region.

A steady flow of air pushing into the area from the south will usher milder conditions into the region through Monday, allowing temperatures to increase by as much as 40-60 degrees when compared to the recent cold outbreak.

NE Mon 2.4 AM

"This warm-up will present a good opportunity for people to finally get their cars washed, shovel previously frozen snow and do storm cleanup outdoors," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys.

While many will be glad to be able to turn down the thermostat and ditch their winter coats, there will also be some negative side-effects to the warmth.

Anyone on the roads and sidewalks will still need to tread carefully, as the ground will remain frozen in shaded areas even as temperatures rise. Overnight, melted snow and ice could refreeze, making for slick conditions early in the morning.

The ground will have warmed up enough to limit icy concerns as the next batch of rain moves through the Northeast on Monday night. However, the rain and upswing in temperatures may pose additional hazards.

"Rainfall, rapid snowmelt and clogged storm drains can create localized flooding, especially in areas where feet of lake-effect snow have accumulated, such as Buffalo, New York," Roys warned. "Drivers should avoid flooded areas and be wary of newly exposed road hazards, such as potholes."

"I also wouldn't be surprised if some river and ice jam flooding occurred in northern New York and New England."

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After peaking at temperatures more typical for March on Monday and Tuesday, millions will again face a swift cooldown, though this one will not be as dramatic as last week's.

In areas such as Columbus, Ohio; Pittsburgh; and Buffalo, New York, Monday will be the warmest day with high temperatures on Tuesday being 10-15 degrees lower.

Farther east in locations such as Washington, D.C.; Albany, New York; and Boston, the fresh chill will hold off until Wednesday.

Midweek 2.4 AM

This cooldown will not last long, according to Roys.

"The temperature roller coaster will continue through the end of the week, when another brief warmup is expected as the next storm approaches."

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