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Where will it feel like spring in the US to start the season on Wednesday?

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
March 19, 2019, 8:34:45 AM EDT

Spring is expected to kick off with most of the northern tier of the United States enjoying mild weather on Wednesday, while temperatures trend downward in California following this weekend's warmth.

This winter marked by a deadly Arctic outbreak in the Midwest and Northeast, a prolonged cold snap in the northern Rockies, snowiest February on record in Seattle and rare snow in Las Vegas will officially fade to spring at 5:58 p.m. EDT (2:58 p.m. PDT) on Wednesday.

To start spring, the Northeast will join the North Central states and Northwest in enjoying mild weather to kick off the season.

After the chill from this weekend spills over to the start of the week, residents of the Northeast will notice a rise in temperatures on Wednesday.

That is especially true from Buffalo, New York, to Caribou, Maine, where highs in the 20s and 30s early this week will be replaced by 40s and lower 50s on the first day of spring.

Wed outlook March 17

"Temperatures on Wednesday will reach the 50s from Washington, D.C., to New York City, which will feel pretty pleasant with only a light breeze," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Thompson. "While this will not be as warm as it was late last week, it will be an improvement over the recent chilly stretch."

While there will be sunshine along the Interstate 95 corridor, more clouds may stream across the interior ahead of some rain set to stretch from around Buffalo, New York, and Detroit to St. Louis and Oklahoma City.

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High pressure should keep most of the South dry and sunny on Wednesday. While temperatures may be held several degrees below normal, sunshine and lack of wind will promote pleasant weather.

"With the sun getting stronger as we start spring, days that may look cool on the thermometer will feel pretty nice when the sun is out and the wind is light," according to Thompson.

Tulips March 17

Tulips are a sure sign of spring and were on full display in this file photo from the Philadelphia Flower Show Friday, March 10, 2017 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Spring to start without rain, cold in flood-ravaged North Central US

Behind the rain, fresh frigid air is not expected to plunge into the North Central states.

Temperatures instead may largely rise into the 40s and 50s on Wednesday with the sky no worse than partly sunny.

While the dry weather will aid in cleanup efforts, ongoing flooding is anticipated along the larger rivers.

Wednesday's warmth may set records, bring highest temperatures so far this year in the Northwest

Where stubborn low clouds and fog do not develop, the first day of spring may be the warmest so far this year in parts of the interior Northwest. This may include Billings, Montana; Spokane, Washington; and Pendleton, Oregon.

Along the I-5 corridor of the Northwest, the warmth may peak on Tuesday. Wednesday will still feature well above-normal temperatures with widespread highs in the 60s.

Memories of the onslaught of snow will further be put in the rear view mirror in Seattle, where Wednesday's record high of 69 F from 1986 will be in jeopardy.

River flooding and ice jams may arise across the snow-covered Rockies and Intermountain West due to a stretch of warmth in the days leading up to and including the start of spring.

NW warm 3/18

Storm, cooler air to usher in spring in California

The last weekend of winter will prove to be much warmer than the official first day of spring in California.

Temperatures that soared into the 70s and 80s over the weekend are expected to be held 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit lower on Wednesday as a storm sweeps in with rain.

CA March 17

The steadiest rain is anticipated in Northern and Central California, but some showers can dampen Los Angeles and San Diego. Snow and travel disruptions can plague those driving through the Sierra.

Some rain and high-elevation snow may streak into the southern Rockies, while dry and mild weather holds around Phoenix, Arizona.

Download the free AccuWeather app to get more precise details on Wednesday's weather in your community.

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