Dramatic Warmup in Store for the Northeast Starting Sunday

Posted: February 4, 2023 8:43 am

Long-Range Forecast Calling for Temperatures Trending Above Normal in February

Those residents of the Northeast waking up to frigid temperatures on Saturday morning will not need to wait long for the area to thaw out. Sunday will bring temperatures that may even land above normal for the first weekend of February, marking a dramatic change from the day before.

Polar Vortex Will Exit as Quickly as it Arrived

The polar vortex that brought the mass of Arctic air to the region to close out the work week will move out by Sunday with the mild weather predicted to hang around through the middle of February. The temperature upswing will be quick with much warmer temperatures in store for Sunday and Monday.

This warmup will be even more dramatic when compared to the readings of the last day or two. Saturday’s lows will range from the teens in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia to single digits in New York City. It will be even colder in Boston with lows hitting about 10 degrees below zero. The upward trajectory of the mercury will continue through Saturday night and into Sunday.

In fact, while Boston is forecast to be in the upper teens on Saturday afternoon, the temperature will continue to rise in the overnight hours. You can expect the mercury to hit the 40s by Sunday afternoon in Boston, marking a drastic shift from the day prior.

New England will experience the greatest range of temperatures from Saturday into Sunday. For instance, a low of about 20 degrees below zero early Saturday in Burlington, Vermont will be replaced with readings near 40 degrees on Sunday, translating to a difference of over 50 degrees.

A similar situation will play out in New York City with highs in the mid 20s on Saturday being replaced by highs in the upper 40s by Sunday. The overnight lows Saturday will be warmer than during the afternoon hours as the polar vortex continues to shift away from the Northeast.

Unseasonable Warmth Forecast to Continue for Much of Northeast


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These Sunday readings will translate to above average temperatures for both New York City and Boston. This is a continuation of what the month of January brought in as a whole to much of the eastern half of the U.S. For example, New York City recorded temperatures that were almost 10 degrees above average across the first month of the year.

The long-range forecast is predicting much of the same heading into February. So while this weekend’s cold snap will certainly be a departure from normal, it is not going to be a harbinger of things to come. Forecasters are calling for temperatures to average about 3 degrees higher than average in cities such as Washington, D.C., New York City, and Boston.

The February snow forecast is a little less certain. Despite the warmer than average temperatures forecast for this month, it is important to keep in mind that February is typically a snowier month than January for most areas of the Northeast.


For instance, Philadelphia typically sees 8.4 inches of snow in February compared to 7.1 inches of snow in January. Much of this region is in the middle of an extensive snow drought. New York City did not see its first measurable snowfall of the season this year until February 1, marking the latest that the city had ever gone without picking up significant accumulation.

A west-to-east jet stream setup in February is predicted to keep the coldest air confined to Canada. However, forecasters warn that storms can still bring snow to the Interstate 95 corridor during this weather pattern. The next most likely time for snow storms to develop in the Northeast will be the weekend of February 11 and 12.

There are also signs that the polar vortex may shift to the south by the end of February. This would bring another rash of unseasonably cold temperatures to much of the U.S. The bottom line is that the East Coast is not out of the woods yet when it comes to winter weather. Nearly anything is possible heading into the month of February.

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