By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
March 25,2017, 5:28:30AM,EDT
Following mild weather during January and February, winter came back with a vengeance with plummeting temperatures in March. Will that trend continue into April?
The weather has done a complete flip from February to March in the Northeast.
Temperatures went from averaging 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit above normal in February to averaging 2 to 5 degrees below normal from March 1 to March 23.
February 2017 was the warmest February on record at New York City’s Central Park with an average temperature of 41.6 F, which was 6.4 degrees above normal.
Temperatures bottomed out at 14 F on March 5, which was colder than any February morning. February’s lowest temperature was 19 F.
In Boston, the highest temperature recorded in February (73 F) beat March’s warmest day so far by 10 degrees. That warm day in February will not be rivaled through the upcoming week.
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The Northeast will remain the battleground between stubborn cool air to the north and advancing mild air to the south.
Mild days will win out over cool days in the mid-Atlantic through next week, allowing average temperatures for March to rebound back closer to normal. However, rain will put a damper on outdoor plans at times.
However, near to below-normal temperatures will dominate New England and upstate New York through the end of March with occasional bouts of wintry weather creating slick travel.
Looking ahead to April, a repeat of the exceptional warmth from February is not expected for the Northeast nor will winter make frequent comebacks.
“While a good part of the country looks to be warm in April, especially from the southern Rockies and central and southern Plains to the Southeast, the corners will be the slowest to get that warmth, and that includes the Northeast,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Joe Lundberg said.
The pattern is expected to “by and large prevent any really strong pushes of arctic air to make late-season stands,” Lundberg said.
However, a dip in the jet stream will loom over the Northeast most of the month.
“So that looks like a slow start to the growing season in New York and New England as a result,” Lundberg said.
But temperatures should not soar significantly above average.
“Frequent fronts and above-normal precipitation will keep temperatures in check,” Lundberg said.
Typical highs in early April range from the lower 40s in northern Maine to the middle 50s in New York City and Pittsburgh to the lower 60s in Washington, D.C.
Temperatures trend upward about 10 degrees by the end of the month.