Break out the shorts, T-shirts and sunglasses this week.
Not only will warmth continue to surge from the Midwest to the Northeast into the end of the week, but some daily record highs will be challenged. However, all good things must come to an end, AccuWeather meteorologists warn, as rounds of chilly weather are forecast to return starting this weekend in some areas and early next week in others.
For those waiting for a stretch of days with dry, warm weather to jumpstart their exercising routines, get back to the golf course or catch up on outdoor projects, ideal conditions are in store with strong sunshine, low humidity and warm afternoons.
“This is a very summerlike pattern on the weather maps with a large area of high pressure at most levels of the atmosphere centered smack over the middle of the nation,” AccuWeather Chief On-Air Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said. “The only thing absent will be high humidity.”
A number of daily highs will be challenged from the Southwest to the central and southern Plains Tuesday. Phoenix is slated to log its first triple-digit temperature reading of the season and top the record of 98 degrees Fahrenheit set in 1989. Forecasters expect Denver to shatter its old record of 80 F set, most recently in 1982, with a high in the mid-80s.
The warmth will shift eastward, expand and intensify through midweek over the Midwest and finally the Northeast Thursday and Friday. However, the days leading up to the peak of the warmth will not be too shabby in terms of sunshine and warmth.
Highs and lows in Chicago through Thursday will be about 20 degrees above the historical average for the middle of April. People in the Windy City can expect afternoon temperatures well into the 70s with readings to start the day in the mid-50s.
The surging warmth will accelerate the thaw over the northern tier of the Central states to the point where local ice jam flooding this week may be followed by significant rises and flooding along the major rivers in the days and weeks ahead.
As the warmth extends into the East Thursday and Friday, widespread highs in the 70s and 80s are in store, which will be as much as 25 degrees above the historical average.
“Since temperatures are projected to reach the upper 80s in some of the major cities, the combination of dry air, a breeze and heat-island effect can allow thermometers to reach 90 in some locations,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said. Some of the cities that could flirt with the 90-degree mark include Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Richmond, Virginia.
Afternoon temperatures Thursday and Friday will climb into at least the mid-80s in Philadelphia and New York City and peak around the 80-degree mark in Boston.
People heading to the beach to catch some rays and enjoy the sounds and sights of the surf will find lower temperatures by perhaps as much as 20 degrees. Surf temperatures are dangerously low (mainly in the 40s and 50s) in April and can lead to cold-water shock.
As buds burst into blooms over the region, tree, grass and flower pollen will be on the rise and can lead to some difficulties for people with allergies.
A potentially more dangerous and widespread concern with the surging temperatures from the Southwest to the Northeast is a problem typical of the spring. Anywhere the grass has not turned green, and dry leaves and brush overwhelm wooded areas, there will be the potential for brush fires to ignite.
Forecasters urge people to be extra careful with outdoor flames and power equipment and not to toss burning cigarettes on the ground. The combination of intense sunshine, heat near the ground, breezes, dry air and dry brush can quickly cause a smoldering patch to grow into a large brush fire.
A storm destined to bring rain to the northern Plains and Upper Midwest and severe weather to portions of the central and southern Plains prior to the end of the week will end up being a pattern-changer starting this weekend. Snowflakes could fly in some areas.
“As that storm spins toward the Great Lakes region this weekend, it will strengthen enough to cause the jet stream to carve out a strong southward dip and then create what the forecasting community calls a ‘closed low,'” AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said.
These large storms tend to be slow-moving and can create days filled with chilly air, showers, thunderstorms and even snow if cold enough – and this one is likely to get cold enough to produce some snow.
“Snowflakes can be seen as far south as the central Appalachians from Sunday night through Monday, but accumulating snow, with the chance of a few inches, is most likely over the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,” AccuWeather Senior Snow Warning Meteorologist Brian Wimer said. “In order for accumulating snow to occur over the ridges in the central Appalachians, winds will need to be more out of the northwest, rather than the west, to allow the maximum amount of cold air and Great Lakes moisture.”
“Multiple waves of chilly air are in store for the Midwest, Northeast and part of the Southeast region into early May, which will cause temperatures to trend up and down,” Pastelok said. “Since the persistent area of high pressure along the southern Atlantic coast is likely to be hacked down, warmups will be limited to just ahead of the surges of chilly air.”
In addition to the waves of chilly air that will follow the summerlike warmth this week, episodes of frost and even freezing nighttime temperatures can even occur in portions of the interior South as AccuWeather’s long-range team warned about months ago.
Agricultural interests, as well as garden centers, and those who have purchased warm-season flowers and vegetable plants may need to protect their investment on a few occasions this spring.
Periodic windy conditions created in the pattern will also continue to increase the brush fire risk where showers do not douse the landscape from the Plains to the East.
Produced in association with AccuWeather