By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
March 20,2017, 1:48:54PM,EDT
The official start to spring will not mean an end to winter as cold air plunges back into the northeastern United States during the middle of this week.After snow re-coated parts of the Northeast this weekend, spring commenced on a seasonable note. Astronomical spring began at 6:28 a.m. EDT, Monday.
Following the chilly start to the day, afternoon temperatures rebounded to near 40 F in the interior of northern New England to the 50s from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh.
Similar highs will follow on Tuesday.
The region’s snow cover will take a hit early this week, causing minor rises on area streams and rivers. Where temperatures drop below freezing at night, residents should be aware of icy spots on untreated roads and sidewalks.
However, winter will fight back at midweek, putting the brakes on the melting snow and forcing residents to pull heavier jackets back out of closets.
Arctic air will first blast into the upper Great Lakes on Tuesday before descending over the Northeast by Wednesday.
Cooler air will spill into the Southeast, but will stop well short of bringing a repeat of the widespread record-breaking and subfreezing temperatures the region endured last week.
Rain and snow showers will accompany the arctic blast into the northern and eastern Great Lakes and northern Appalachians. A period of snow showers and squalls may briefly follow downwind of the Great Lakes.
With the arctic air in place, midweek will feel more like January across the Northeast.
Highs on Wednesday will be 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit below normal with the core of the cold settling over New York state and New England. AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will even be 10-15 degrees lower due to a brisk wind.
“The lowest temperatures are expected to occur on Thursday morning,” Brown said.
Widespread lows in the single digits and teens will encompass most of Pennsylvania and into New England.
“Morning lows this cold are even considered below normal for the typical winter months,” Brown said.
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Lows in the 20s will also have those along the I-95 corridor from New York City to Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., turning up the heat and bundling up before heading to school and work.
The battle between spring and winter will continue later this week as warmth should briefly surge back in.
However, the cold may linger long enough for rain to briefly fall as snow and/or ice ahead of the return of warm air.
“The greatest chance of snow and ice is on the front end of the storm and is most likely in northern New England and upstate New York,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
The warmup will once again ramp up snow melt. At this point, the risk is low for a storm from the Midwest dropping enough rain next weekend to enlist fears of widespread flooding in areas that were buried by 2-3 feet of snow during the Blizzard of 2017.
The flood risk would increase if the storm takes a more southern track or is able to tap into more moisture and produce more substantial rainfall than latest indications.