Spring is known for causing topsy-turvy weather patterns across the United States, including the return of summer-like warmth, lingering snow, flooding and dry spells. This week will be no exception for the East Coast, AccuWeather forecasters warn. It will start with summer-like warmth, but there will be stark contrast in conditions across the region as the week unfolds.
“A series of storms moving from the central Plains to the mid-Atlantic during the first half of this week will bring rounds of showers and thunderstorms from Missouri and Virginia on southward to the Gulf of Mexico,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Matt Benz.
As one storm crosses the central Appalachians, it will have the potential to produce severe weather.
Typical springtime showers and thunderstorms will be even more widespread Tuesday afternoon and evening, extending as far south as Pensacola and Jacksonville, Florida, and stretching as far north as Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.
In the northern part of this area, across portions of northern Virginia and Maryland, the rounds of rain will be beneficial, as parts of the area are abnormally dry or in a moderate drought.
“There is a lot of dry air present in the mid-Atlantic ahead of these midweek showers and thunderstorms. Should the dry air win out, the rain may not be able to reach as far north,” Benz explained.
Drier weather is likely to settle into the Ohio Valley by later in the day Wednesday then arrive in the mid-Atlantic and the Southeast on Thursday. Showers may linger across parts of the Southeast coast into late week, but most areas will likely be rain-free until the weekend.
The same dry air that limits rainfall into the drought areas in the Northeast is likely to provide generally dry conditions across the Northeast this week.
As wet weather arrives in Maryland and Delaware, a few showers may also visit northern New England. The Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine will experience at least a few hours of clouds and some showers into Tuesday night.
Behind this wave of wet weather will be a reinforced push of dry, cool air, dropping temperatures briefly at midweek. Instead of the high temperatures that were well into the 80s for New York City and Philadelphia last week, the thermometer readings will struggle to reach the upper 60s Wednesday and Thursday.
The dry air promoting the cool down will also bring another risk for the region: fires.
“Recent dry weather and a very dry air mass will continue to set the stage for an elevated fire risk across parts of the Northeast,” explained Benz.
This will be especially true during the first half of the week, as a gusty breeze will threaten to make any spark spread more quickly.
“Although many areas have started to green up, higher elevations continue to lag with the abundance of green vegetation. Even at lower elevations, standing dead grass and brush from last year can still provide fuel for fires,” Benz warned.
Winds are expected to lessen as the week progresses as another strong area of high pressure takes over. The chilly air that lingers into Thursday will likely dissipate by week’s end, promoting another warmup across the Northeast.
“Milder conditions are likely to return to the Northeast by the end of the week, thanks to prolonged sunshine and a southerly flow,” said Benz. At this time, afternoon temperature readings are not likely to return to the abnormally high levels of late last week.
Temperatures are expected to be near the historical average for the second half of May in the Northeast on Friday, with high temperatures ranging from the middle 70s in Washington, D.C., to the middle 60s in Boston.
Produced in association with AccuWeather