By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
March 26,2017, 3:38:47PM,EDT
The battleground between stubborn cool air and advancing mild air will continue to lie across the northeastern United States for the final days of March.Fluctuating temperatures and a vast contrast between highs from north to south will dominate the region this week.
After a dramatic drop in temperatures from Saturday to Sunday in the mid-Atlantic, the weather will do a complete reversal on Monday.
“Even though there will be clouds around early in the week, a southwesterly flow will help to bring in much warmer air even in the absence of significant sunshine,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Thompson said.
The warming will occur as a storm from the Midwest pushes to the north. This storm is responsible for the icy mix that threatens to create areas of slippery travel in upstate New York and New England into Monday.
Temperatures will be more gradual to rebound across southern and central New England early this week, but the storm will stop short of tracking far enough to the north to bring any appreciable warming to northern New England.
As a result, temperatures early this week will struggle to reach or exceed the freezing mark in northern Maine as Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., feel more like May with highs in the 70s.
Showers and thunderstorms arriving with another storm on Tuesday will limit the time residents can spend outdoors enjoying the warmth.
Those hoping to view the peak of the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., may want to wait until midweek when drier air will filter in behind Tuesday’s storm.
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Fresh cooler air will also follow the storm, putting temperatures back on the roller coaster ride later this week.
Much like earlier in the week, the temperature swing will be more noticeable in the mid-Atlantic. However, enough cold air may arrive for snow showers to fly across the northern Appalachian Mountains.
Thursday will feel more like how late March should with highs in the 50s and lower 60s common across the mid-Atlantic. Farther north, highs will range from the 30s in far northern New England to the 40s and lower 50s elsewhere.
The next storm to target the northeastern U.S. should allow the cooler air to win out over another warm surge into the start of next weekend.
"An active storm track across the mid-Atlantic during the second half of the week will likely prevent unseasonably warm air from reaching the Northeast," Thompson said.
Friday and Saturday may turn out to be even cooler than Thursday where clouds, rain and stubborn chilly air north of the storm’s track set up.
If precipitation expands far enough to the north, northern New England could be faced with more wintry weather.
“Temperatures can have large fluctuations during the spring months in cities bordering the coast, such as Boston and New York City,” Thompson said.
“Since water temperatures are in the 30s and 40s this time of year, any wind off of the ocean will put the brakes on any warm air that’s trying to move in.”