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When will the cold ease in the midwestern, northeastern US?

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
May 15, 2019, 1:58:41 AM EDT

Warmth is likely to have an easier time rolling into and lasting awhile in the Midwest versus the northeastern United States over the next couple of weeks.

The same convoluted nature of the jet stream that brought an unusual chill to the Southwest and warmth to the Northwest last week will be a key player in the weather over the northeastern quarter of the nation in the coming days.

The pattern is more typical of early April rather than the middle of May.

Midwest, Northeast chilly promo 5/13

Cold air pours over the Midwest and Northeast, with temperatures plummeting into the 30s and 40s F on Monday morning, May 13, 2019. (NOAA/Satellite)

Usually by the middle of May, the jet stream has taken on a straighter, west-to-east configuration.

"The pattern is preventing the normal west-to-east motion of storms, and this is happening from North America to Europe," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Eric Leister.

US Midweek

What happens in this type of setup is that cold air can move southward or get bottled up in areas such as the Northeast and parts of the Midwest.

Where the sky becomes clear and winds diminish on certain nights, there may be pockets of frost.

Temperatures dipped to frosty levels in parts of Pennsylvania and New York state early Wednesday morning.

There have been pockets of frost in Wisconsin and Michigan during previous nights.

"The jet stream is forecast to shift around slightly during the middle to latter part of the week," according to AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Max Vido.

The change should be enough to allow a warmup to progress from the Midwest to the Northeast. Highs in the 30s, 40s and 50s will be replaced with highs mainly in the 60s and 70s.

NE Midwest Late Week

"However, the atmospheric traffic jam will still exist and may cause more trouble into early next week," Vido said.

At this time, it appears that much of the Midwest will stay in the warmer air or at least in a zone of "less-cold air."

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"On the other hand, northern and eastern New England may be in the crosshairs of another plunge of cold air this weekend into early next week," Vido said.

US Next Week

"How significant that cold air is and how far to the south and west the cold air extends will have a profound effect on actual temperatures from the eastern Great Lakes to the central Appalachians, mid-Atlantic and southwestern New England," Vido added.

From New England to portions of the central Appalachians, temperature forecasts may change significantly this weekend into early next week.

In the cold air, where clouds dominate, high temperatures are likely to be in the 40s and 50s. Southwest of the batch of cold air, highs are likely to be in the 60s, 70s and even 80s. It is possible that the temperature contrast will be even more extreme than this and that snow may again fall on parts of New England.

Parts of New England were hit with high-elevation wet snow on Sunday, and more snow fell from Monday to Tuesday.

In such a pattern, a temperature difference of 40 degrees or more may set up in a span of 100 miles or less.

In another scenario, warmth from the Midwest may move into much of the Northeast with cold air limited to eastern Quebec and the Canadian Maritime Provinces this weekend and into next week.

"We should have a much better idea as to the extent of the chilly air rebound later this week after a rare May rainstorm makes landfall in California and we see how much, or not, the jet stream pattern gets buckled," Vido said.

In the meantime, warmer days are ahead for the Midwest, and the cold air will ease for a time in the Northeast later this week.

Download the free AccuWeather app to see the temperature forecast for your area. Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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