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Gusty storms Sunday to slice May-like warmth in eastern US, but only briefly

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 4/13/2018 Alex Sosnowski
© NOAA

Following a storm set to bring all sorts of weather ranging from snow and ice to warmth and gusty thunderstorms, another burst of chilly air will follow over much of the East. But how long will the chill last?

Weekend weather in eastern U.S. to feature the entire kitchen

A wedge of cold air will slip southward across New England and the upper part of the mid-Atlantic as the weekend progresses. This cold wedge will set up a zone of ice and snow for a time over the northern tier.

However, warmth has surged into much of the mid-Atlantic and part of southern New England. For millions of people who have endured abnormally cold conditions in recent weeks, suddenly it feels like May.

For outdoor plans, the best weather for spending time out of doors will be on Saturday, south of the ice and snow zone.

Eighty-degree Fahrenheit warmth will hold on through Saturday but retreat southward for a time on Sunday.

For portions of the Pennsylvania, southeastern New York state, New Jersey, Delaware and northeastern Maryland, the weather on Saturday and Sunday may be like night and day. A simple matter of turning the winds in off the ocean or from the northeast may result in temperatures being 20 to 30 degrees lower on Sunday versus Saturday.

Where southerly winds and warmth manage to hold on across Virginia on south, there will be the potential for strong to locally severe thunderstorms on Sunday and Sunday night.

Some communities may be hit with a storm that causes frequent lightning strikes, hail and damaging wind gusts.

It is possible that temperatures again surge later Sunday and Sunday night, which may allow potent thunderstorms to occur as far north as parts of New England. The worst of the rain is likely to hit New England during the day Monday.

See-saw temperature pattern for the rest of April

No prolonged May-like warmth is anticipated for the rest of April.

The gusty thunderstorms and torrential downpours capable of causing urban flooding from Sunday to Monday will mark the leading edge of chillier air moving in from the Midwest.

That air will turn cold enough to allow snow showers as far south as the mountains of West Virginia, western Maryland, northwestern Virginia and Pennsylvania on Monday and Tuesday.

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 RealFeelĀ® 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.

"It is possible there is a another substantial burst of chilly air toward the end of April," Duffey said.

However, below-average temperatures near the end of the month may mean a high in the lower 60s for New York City.

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.

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