'Return to milder conditions' in store for Northeast

·4 min read

Temperatures have been steadily rising throughout last week in the Northeast and began peaking above average over the past couple of days. Conditions are expected to be warmer than normal across the region through the week, peaking mid- to late week, with little rainfall anticipated.

Northeastern temperatures began last week below average. New York City reported a high of 60 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday, almost 10 degrees below normal for the Big Apple, which usually has mid-May temperatures near 70 F.

Chilly nighttime air produced freeze warnings and frost advisories several nights in a row.

Cities like Boston have had high temperatures rise nearly 15 degrees from last Monday to Friday. The city recorded a toasty 77 F on Friday afternoon, while it usually has high temperatures in the mid-60s this time of year.

Temperatures have risen the highest they've been so far this year in some cases along the coastline, according to the National Weather Service office of Gray, Maine.

Portland, Maine, for example, reported a high of 75 F on Friday. Not only is this the first time the city has reached into the 70s since April, but this is the highest temperature the city has had all of 2021.

New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., all reached the upper 70s on Saturday. Boston then reached the upper 70s on Sunday.

"After an extended stretch of chilly May weather, a comfortable return to milder conditions is in store across the Northeast throughout much of the upcoming week," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham.

An area of high pressure is shifting eastward through the Midwest, Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic states, according to AccuWeather long-range foreasters.

"By late week, temperatures may continue to climb towards summerlike levels, with temperatures in the 80s possible," said Buckingham.

Next Thursday and Friday, the capital is anticipated to soar into the mid-80s along with several other cities, putting it nearly 10 degrees above normal.

Nighttime temperatures will also be high enough to put the frost risk from this week in the past.

"Residents should now have the green light to begin planting gardens and worrying less about sensitive vegetation, as the widespread risk for frost and freezing conditions are dwindling as temperatures continue to climb to more seasonable levels," Buckingham said.

Low temperatures are expected to stay above the mid-40s in most places in the Northeast. Temperatures in Boston may not even fall below 60 F on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

Frost and freeze conditions retreated northward into the Upper Midwest and New England late this past week, and will retreat farther north into Canada this weekend, according to long-range forecasters.

This image, taken late Sunday night, May 16, 2021, shows the higher temperatures along the Atlantic Coast. (AccuWeather)

Showers are expected on Monday across parts of the Northeast, but will do little to help the New England states that are suffering from drought.

Nearly 30% of Vermont is currently experiencing a moderate drought, primarily in the east, while about 80% of the entire state is at least abnormally dry, according to the United States Drought Monitor.

The state's capital, Burlington, Vermont, has reported only 32% of average precipitation for May. Concord, New Hampshire, has received only about an inch, or 27% of normal this month.


AccuWeather forecasters warn residents of northern New England on that despite warmer weather, area rivers, streams and even the ocean were still dangerously cold to enter.

If you plan to spend time on the lake, the NWS office of Burlington recommends that you dress for the water and wear a life jacket. They, along with several other offices, issued marine, beach hazards and special weather statements on Saturday warning residents to not "underestimate the dangers of cold water temperatures."

This image, captured Saturday morning, May 15, 2021, shows special weather statements (beige) and beach hazards statements (turquoise) warning of dangerously low water temperatures. (AccuWeather)

Any water below 50 F can cause immediate incapacitation, according to the NWS Gray, recommending boaters and kayakers wear a wetsuit or drysuit in addition to a life jacket.

By early next week, mild conditions are expected to retreat southward as a cold front dives southward through the Midwest and Northeast, according to long-range meteorologists. Along and ahead of the cold front, another round of rain and thunderstorms are expected early next week

Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier, Spectrum, FuboTV, Philo, and Verizon Fios.

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