Temperatures are forecast to soar across much of the central and eastern U.S. this week, leaving many questioning what season it is. AccuWeather meteorologists say the unusually warm weather will bring the highest temperatures since last fall, as well as a few hazards.
“A massive dome of high pressure will set up in the southeastern U.S. this week and be responsible for a significant warmup for the eastern two-thirds of the country” said AccuWeather Meteorologist La Troy Thornton.
This high combined with a northward bulge in the jet stream is expected to bring a warm spell for the Plains, Midwest and Northeast. In many places, high temperatures are expected to be as much as 10-20 F degrees above the historical average for mid-April.
The surge of warm air will first start in the Plains, as a stream of warm air is pulled northward from the Southwest and Mexico. Temperatures are expected to surpass 80 F degrees in Omaha, Nebraska, by Tuesday and St. Louis by Wednesday. Cities like Chicago may fall just shy of the 80-degree mark by the middle of the week, but the Windy City is still forecast to have its warmest day since late-October.
In Minneapolis, March ended on a cool note, with temperatures registering 4.2 F degrees below the historical average for the month. In the city, the afternoon high temperature will be in the upper 60s on Monday, already above the early April norm; however, temperatures are expected to jump even higher by Wednesday, reaching the lower 80s for the first time since late-September. In Minneapolis, temperatures in the 80s are more typical during the months of June to August.
The warm air is then expected to push across the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and into the Northeast. Temperatures are set to peak in the upper 70s in cities like Grand Rapids, Michigan, Cleveland and Buffalo, New York, for the end of the week.
In the Interstate 95 corridor, cities like Boston and New York can expect at least one day in the 80s, while Baltimore and Washington, D.C. may spend the entire second half of the week in the 80s.
By Friday, some cities like Albany, New York, and Philadelphia could be within just a few degrees of the daily record high temperature.
“The several days of warmth and rain-free conditions in the East may dry things out enough to contribute to a higher fire-weather threat,” Thornton explained, noting that the growing season is just getting underway for many.
The warmer-than-normal air will help encourage more flowers and trees to bud across much of the northern tier. Over the next week, more of the Plains, Midwest and Northeast will experience that blooming, which will unleash a torrent of pollen and worsen allergies for millions. The source of the pollen will first come from trees, with mold, grass and ragweed to follow over the coming months.
AccuWeather experts warn that back in March, the 2023 AccuWeather U.S. spring allergy forecast explains that the tree pollen would peak in April for many in the Midwest and Northeast.
Meanwhile, residents across the northern Plains have been yearning for an end to the late-season snow and wintry conditions. The warmth coming to the region is likely to limit additional snowfall for much of the week; however, this weather pattern comes with other hazards.
Across states like North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, feet of snow remain on the ground. Despite at least a few days of dry weather, this area will be at risk for flooding in the next week.
“This week’s quick warmup will cause the snowpack to melt rapidly, brining a rapid rise in river levels,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bill Deger.
In some parts of the Upper Midwest, the liquid equivalent of the snow pack is as high as 20 inches. Melting that snow pack over a period of a few days or a week would be equivalent to a multi-day rainstorm.
This year’s high snow pack and the amount of water locked in it has many local National Weather Service forecast offices in the Midwest forecasting a “well above-normal” spring flood risk for the Mississippi River later this spring. This includes areas far downstream where little or no snow fell all winter.
The warmth is expected to gradually wane in the center of the country at the end of the week, bringing with it yet another risk.
“The change in the weather pattern is expected to bring temperatures back closer to normal for mid-April may also bring a return to the risk for severe weather,” Deger warned.
Produced in association with AccuWeather