As we end February and begin March, the weather will begin on a warm side for the East, although by the time we get to the weekend, temperatures will drop closer to average and for some areas it will even turn below average, especially for the Mid-Atlantic and other parts of the East Coast. Also most of this heat will not be record-breaking but temperatures will approach those record levels at times.
On Monday, temperatures will be up to twenty degrees above average. The region that will be the warmest relative to average will be in Central Plains, Midwest, Great Lakes, and Northeast. For the rest of the East, there will be widespread high temperatures five to fifteen degrees above normal. In terms of actual temperatures, much of the Northern Tier will feature temperatures into the 30s and 40s. In the Mid-Atlantic through the Ohio Valley, many areas will get into the 50s while it reaches the 60s in Central and Southern Plains and much of the Southeast. It’s not until you get to the Gulf Coast where highs will be in the 70s and Florida where high temperatures will surpass the freezing mark.
Temperatures will warm up further on Tuesday with the Midwest and Great Lakes dealing with temperatures as much of twenty-five degrees above the normal high for this time of the year. That will translate to actual highs in the 40s, 50s, and even the 60s. The Northern Plains will be cooler with highs in the 30s and 30s. In the Northeast, many locations will peak into the 40s and 50s and the Mid-Atlantic will get into the 50s and 60s. The rest of the East should have high temperatures in the 60s and 70s, although Florida and South Texas will be warmer with highs in the 80s.
The heat will expand into the Northeast on Wednesday, so from the Midwest through New England, highs will be twenty to twenty-five degrees above average as a strong ridge of high pressure maxes out over the region. Widespread highs in the 50s are expected in the Northeast, and some towns will likely get into the low 60s. It will get into the 60s in much of the Mid-Atlantic and Ohio and Tennessee River Valleys. Back toward the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains, it will turn slightly cooler with highs in the 20s, 30s, and 40s. In the Central Plains, a tight temperature gradient will set up, so temperatures will range from the 30s all the way up to the 60s. Then in the Southern Plains through the Southeast, temperatures will peak into the 60s and 70s. Again, South Texas and Florida will feature highs in the 80s, and likely a few locations along the Gulf Coast as well.
Cooler temperatures will work into the Great Plains by Thursday while the heat relaxes a bit along the East Coast. High temperatures for some, however, will still be up to twenty degrees above normal. Actual temperatures in the Northeast will be in the 40s and 50s, Mid-Atlantic in the 50s and 60s, Southeast in the 60s and 70s, and Florida in the 80s. In the Great Plains where it is cooler, high temperatures will range from the 20s and 30s in the Dakotas to the 50s and 60s in the Southern Plains. The Upper Midwest and Great Lakes will also feel a chill to the air with maximum temperatures into the 30s and 40s.
By the weekend, cooler temperatures may become a bit more widespread in the East, but it may also take until next week for that to happen based on model uncertainty.