The first part of May has been unusually cool for most of the Northeast with episodes of frosty and freezing weather, brisk winds and even some snow across the interior. AccuWeather meteorologists have good news for residents eager to stow away heavier jackets for the season -- a warmup is underway and it's likely to have staying power.
"Following a stretch of weather more fitting of early April than the early to middle part of May in the Northeast, temperatures are finally expected to get back to near normal," AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson said.
During the period from May 5 to May 12, the coolest air compared to average was across the interior Northeast, where temperatures were 6-12 degrees Fahrenheit below normal. Even along the Interstate 95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to New York City, while not quite as cool, temperatures still averaged roughly 4 degrees below normal during the time frame.
By the middle of May, daytime temperatures typically range from the lower to middle 60s in northern New England to the middle 70s in the lower mid-Atlantic.
Highs for most locales are forecast to be near these seasonable levels through the weekend. In some parts of New England, temperatures may even climb 4-8 degrees above normal into the lower 70s.
While it will feel much warmer than prior days during the mid-morning and afternoon hours, forecasters say a light jacket may still be needed during the early morning hours for those who mind the chill.
However, the good news for gardeners and other agricultural interests is that the risk for frost greatly dissipated after Friday morning, AccuWeather meteorologists say low temperatures will generally dip no further than the 40s in the coldest spots through the weekend.
A few areas will have to contend with stray pop-up showers in the milder pattern, although no one day through the weekend is likely to be a washout. Similar hit-or-miss showers were largely confined to the high terrain of the interior Northeast Friday.
"To start the weekend on Saturday, showers may be a bit more numerous over northern New England and in Pennsylvania. However, most of the showers are expected to be light, and it will not rain all day," Adamson said.
The weather should cooperate for the 146th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore Saturday evening. Any risk of a stray shower will be low, with dry weather likely prevailing for the race. Along with a blend of clouds and sun for most of the day, temperatures will rise to the lower 70s in the afternoon.
"By Sunday, coastal locations from northern New England southward through eastern Virginia will have the best chance for showers. With the warmer air in place, all of the precipitation will fall as rain, unlike this past Sunday when some interior locations had snow," Adamson said.
Utilizing AccuWeather's exclusive MinuteCast® tool, which goes out 4 hours in advance, can help determine the best time to get outside between showers.
"A zone of a bit more concentrated rain could dampen the Ohio Valley to the mid-Atlantic on Monday," Adamson said.
Even with the increased opportunities for rain, mild conditions are likely to stick around into at least the middle of next week.
"Although it will be warmer than it has been, no major heat waves are on the horizon," Adamson said, adding that temperatures would remain rather close to typical levels for the third week of May.
This should help save residents extra money in their wallets by not only eliminating the heating costs of late, but also curbing early season cooling costs.
Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier, Spectrum, FuboTV, Philo, and Verizon Fios.