Northeast to ride weather roller coaster for 1st week of meteorological spring

Courtney Spamer

Spring will feel like it is in full bloom for the first few days of March, but how long will the mild conditions last in the Northeast?

With the start of March comes the hope for a transition into milder conditions, as well as the start of meteorological spring. The first few days of March are forecast to bring a glimpse of warmer weather.

The majority of the cold from the final week of February will be erased, other than in northern New England, where some wintry precipitation may start off the day on Monday. Otherwise, above-normal temperatures will soar in the Northeast through Tuesday.

Although most locations are anticipated to stay below-record levels, highs will range from the middle 40s F in northern Vermont to the lower 60s in the nation's capital Tuesday afternoon. Such temperatures are about 10 degrees above normal for early March.

However, those looking to soak up some vitamin D on these warmer days may be disappointed.

"The warmth spreading across the Northeast through Tuesday will be accompanied by periods of rain," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert.

Just enough cool air will be in place for a little ice and snow to mix with rain across northern New York, northern Vermont and northern New Hampshire. Although chances for wintry precipitation will be limited, the wet weather will bring in more clouds and limit the amount of sunshine in the region.

Rainfall amounts are not expected to be overly high, with an average of 0.25 to 0.75 of an inch expected over the region. Despite this, a heavier downpour could cause slower travel, as well as ponding on roadways and in low-lying areas.

The last push of wet weather late Tuesday into Tuesday night will open the door for a brief shot of colder air to push into the Northeast by Wednesday.

Temperatures are not expected to drop considerably by Wednesday, but instead only by a few degrees. Tuesday's overnight temperatures will drop just enough to allow for some wintry weather in upstate New York and northern New England into early Wednesday.

Only a light snowfall accumulation, if any, is expected in these areas, with the majority of the snow expected to stay in far-northern Maine or in Canada.

For a brief time, some snow may materialize downwind of the Great Lakes, but a wind shift will make this snow mostly inconsequential.

Drier conditions will follow the storm, and seasonable conditions will return on Thursday.

The chance for snow on Friday will be very dependent on the track of a weak storm system that may dive down from Canada late in the week and the movement of a storm swinging up from the south, just off the Atlantic coast. How quickly these two storms merge will determine whether or not there are just snow showers, or a zone of heavy, steady snow develops along the coast.

High temperatures will trend down into the lower 30s to the lower 40s, after some locations approached 60 at the beginning of the week. Low temperatures will likely be in the 20s and 30s for most by Friday night.

Following a few days of chilly conditions, milder air looks to move back in for the second week of March.

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Unlike astronomical spring, which starts on the varying spring equinox each year, meteorological spring begins on March 1 and continues through the end of May every year.

According to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), the meteorological seasons were created because traditional seasons varied in length from 89 to 93 days, and it was difficult for experts to compare statistics from one year to another.

In 2020, the spring equinox will be on March 19.

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