December 5, 2023
Posted: March 20, 2023 9:30 am
While the official end of winter has been a brutal conclusion of the season for the central and eastern portions of the U.S., you can count on temperatures to moderate in the coming days for the arrival of spring.
The official start of the astronomical spring is Monday, March 20. It will still feel like winter for the eastern half of the country, however, milder weather is in store as the week continues. A mass of Arctic air will remain in place to start the week, making many people question if spring is really here. Freezing temperatures across the South and the Plains states will also put some vulnerable plants and early blooming flowers in danger.
It was an unseasonably cold weekend, particularly in portions of the southern Plains. A number of record low temperatures were put in danger of falling across Texas as the mercury fell to as much as 30 – 40 degrees below normal for the middle of March.
The Great Lakes was also a chilly place to be this weekend. Cold winds made the real feel temperature even more miserable.
The temperatures will start to climb back to historical averages with each passing day for the bulk of the eastern two-thirds of the country. A natural increase in the amount of daylight hours will help to accelerate the warming trend.
Also helping to encourage warmer temperatures will be a change in the wind direction that brings in milder air. This will translate to weather that feels more like spring by the end of the work week.
The exit of a high pressure system coming down from the far reaches of Canada will also help to push the Arctic air out of the U.S. This exit will set the stage for southerly and southwesterly winds to begin to usher in warmer temperatures to the area.
The warm-up will begin starting on Monday in Chicago with readings that hover in the low 50s. Temperatures will inch up into the mid 50s the next day, a reading that is about 5 degrees above average. However, strong winds could bring the real feel down a tad.
It will be even warmer heading to the east. New York City will likely break the 60-degree mark on Tuesday. A small cooldown on Wednesday will be followed up with temperatures that approach 70 degrees by Thursday in the Big Apple. The average for this time of the year is the low 50s.
The South will be the last part of the region to see the warming trend in action. For instance, temperatures will remain in the 50s for a high in Charlotte and Atlanta on Monday. By Tuesday, these readings will land in the 60s. Charlotte will see the temperatures take off by Thursday, including readings that hit the 80-degree mark by the end of the week.
Likewise, Atlanta is forecast to see highs in the low 80s on Friday. The average for the Peach City by the end of March hovers in the upper 60s. Houston can also expect to see the temperature reach 80 degrees by the middle of the week.
While this moderation of temperatures will be a welcome relief for those tired of the long winter, forecasters are warning that you cannot rule out the return of winter weather conditions in the coming weeks. This is particularly true for the northern half of the nation. Accumulating snow is still a possibility for portions of the East into early April.
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