Following the storm that brought a crippling blizzard to the north-central United States and a multi-day severe weather outbreak across the South, another burst of chilly air will surge back into much of the East early this week. But how long will the chill last?
Unfortunately for warm-weather lovers, no prolonged June-like warmth is anticipated for the rest of April.
The gusty thunderstorms and torrential downpours that slammed the Southeast on Sunday and Sunday night and will bring heavy, flooding downpours to the mid-Atlantic and southeastern New England on Monday will mark the leading edge of chillier air moving eastward from the Midwest.
That air will turn cold enough to allow snow showers as far south as the mountains of West Virginia, western Maryland, western and central Pennsylvania, and much of New York on Monday night and Tuesday.
“Due to the strong April sun angle, snow will have to fall heavily to accumulate during the daylight hours,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott said. “Roadways should be mainly wet during the daylight hours but can turn snow-covered and slushy Monday night in areas that get hit by a heavier snow shower or squall.”
Because the atmosphere can generally hold more moisture in the middle of spring than during the winter months, any snow squall can briefly produce snowfall rates in excess of an inch per hour.
“Motorists traveling across interstate 80 from central Pennsylvania to eastern Ohio should exercise caution and reduce speeds when encountering snow squalls, especially since the stretch of I-80 from central to western Pennsylvania is notorious for multi-car pileups in whiteout conditions,” Elliott added.
Sub-freezing temperatures throughout the region on Monday and Tuesday nights will threaten to damage any blossoms that have emerged during the recent spell of June-like warmth and further delay the growing season, especially in the mid-Atlantic.
However, just as lasting warmth is not expected, the prolonged cold and snowy weather experienced in the past six weeks is not likely. Instead, back-and-forth mild and cool days are foreseen.
“If we group all of the days together through the end of the month, we expect them to average a couple degrees below normal,” according to AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Evan Duffey.
“This means there will be a few days where temperatures surge well above normal, but there will probably be more days where temperatures are a few degrees below normal.”
On a positive note, when a flow from Canada is in operation, strengthening sunshine will take some of the chill out of the air during the midday and afternoon hours. The chill will be most noticeable at night and at the start of the day.
Where and when the sun is out, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will generally be several degrees higher than the actual temperature.
Another plus for warm weather fans is that average temperatures trend upward significantly during April. For example, in New York City, the average high for April 1 is 56 F, while the average high for April 30 is 66.
The big swings in temperature may still allow frosts and freezes into May even in coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic and the Ohio Valley.
For this reason, people should avoid planting annual flowers and sensitive vegetables in the garden just yet, despite the recent show of warmth. It may be tough to get grass seed and some vegetable crops to germinate due to the cold ground.