Pedestrians walk in Times Square in New York City on Thursday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
After a potent nor'easter threw the Northeast back into winter for a few days, residents are wondering when it'll feel like spring again. AccuWeather forecasters believe warmer weather is imminent, but will not last long. Another wintry blast is set to drag temperatures down in the Northeast yet again.
Temperatures in several cities across the region were below normal to start the weekend. Conditions have been dreary as a cloudy sky and localized showers became the norm.
New York City was almost 10 degrees Fahrenheit below normal on Friday as the wintry storm blew through, recording a high of 53 degrees. Boston was also quite below average Friday, with a high of 45, which is 4 degrees above the normal nightly low temperature.
Temperatures rose slightly on Saturday, but not nearly enough to bring the area back to normal. Sunday, however, temperatures are set to finally rise to around average highs in the 50s and 60s.
Warmth is forecast to continue building across the region through early week. This warmth, in some locations may take over quickly, with cities like New York City jumping to over 10 degrees above average with a high of 75. Several other cities, including Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., are anticipated to hit the 70s on Tuesday as well.
While many in the Northeast may be looking to May-like temperatures returning to the area, the warmup is expected to be brief, as AccuWeather meteorologists are monitoring a winter storm likely to bring a much different feel later in the week.
"There continues to be a threat for a big storm for the Northeast and mid-Atlantic around Wednesday," said AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok.
A potent cold front pushing through the Great Lakes late on Tuesday will introduce chilly conditions, just ahead of a wintry storm moving in from the central United States. This first wave of cold air will set the stage for snow to overspread some parts of the Northeast Tuesday night and Wednesday.
Heavy, wet snow from this storm can stretch from Wichita, Kansas, all the way to Ottawa in Canada, causing roads to become slippery and travel treacherous from Tuesday through early Thursday.
Locations along Lake Erie and Lake Ontario in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, as well as some of the higher elevations from central New York to western Maine, could have several inches of snow by Thursday morning.
"The fast-moving nature of the storm is likely to limit snowfall totals from exceeding a foot across the northeastern U.S.," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Courtney Travis.
The major cities along the Interstate-95 corridor in the Northeast are forecast to be too warm for snow, and instead are expected to receive rain Wednesday through Wednesday night.
Even as the storm clears, temperatures are forecast to keep falling.
"Conditions from midweek on will have warm weather fans across the Great Lakes and Northeast longing for the unseasonable warmth that was prevalent during the first full week of April," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Mary Gilbert said.
"Instead of temperatures topping out 10-20 degrees above average like what occurred in early April, temperatures from Wednesday to Friday will struggle to even reach levels 10-20 below average," Gilbert added.
Cities such as New York City, Philadelphia and even D.C. are forecast to dive into the 30s on Wednesday night, while Buffalo, N.Y., is expected to reach below freezing with a low of 30 that night, which is almost 30 degrees below normal!
"Any residents that were tempted by warmer conditions at the start of the month and began planting crops or gardens will need to take steps to protect their work on Wednesday night," Gilbert suggested.
"Cold air will continue to build over much of the northeastern quarter of the United States on Thursday. Thursday is likely to be the coldest day of the week for places like Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City," Gilbert said.
New York City will likely fall about 10 degrees below average again on Thursday with a forecast high of 53. Cities in New England, like Boston and Springfield, Mass., may not even reach above the upper 40s.
Looking ahead, Pastelok hints that another storm can arrive next weekend, though the timing and severity is "dependent on another surge of cold air coming into the Plains and Midwest."
It is not uncommon for wintry storms to take aim at the Northeast, and especially New England, in April. The Boston area NWS office looked back on a particularly rough nor'easter that occurred 14 years ago, nicknamed the "Patriot's Day Storm", which produced damaging winds and river flooding to the area.