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Pattern Change Will End a Chilly May Stretch in Plains, South, Midwest

The Weather Channel logoThe Weather Channel 5/13/2021 Jonathan Erdman

A pattern change will gradually erode a stubborn May chill that has kept parts of the Plains, Midwest and South shivering so far this month.

Those eager to finally shed the jackets and break out the shorts in parts of the Midwest, Northeast and Plains have probably grown impatient so far this month. Last weekend, light snow fell over parts of Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The first 10 days of the month were among the top 15% of coldest starts to May in Albany, New York; Columbus, Ohio; and Fort Wayne, Indiana, according to the Southeast Regional Climate Center.

In the Plains, rain-cooled afternoon temperatures earlier this week were stuck in the 50s as far south as parts of Texas and wet snow fell along the Front Range of the Rockies, including Denver and Cheyenne, Wyoming.

And in the South, rain-chilled afternoon temperatures in parts of the Carolinas were in the upper 40s Wednesday, closer to average lows than highs in mid-May. Some wet snow even fell in parts of southwest Virginia and the high country of North Carolina.

A Little Lingering Chill

Before we get to the warmup, parts of the South will continue to be strangely cool for mid-May standards on Thursday.

Highs may remain stuck in the 60s in Georgia, South Carolina, and even parts of north Florida along the Interstate 10 corridor from Tallahassee to Jacksonville. All these could be record-chilly highs for the calendar day, according to the National Weather Service.

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The Gradual Warmup

In the Midwest, Plains and Northeast, temperatures should gradually inch up through the rest of this week into the weekend.

By Thursday, 60s and 70s should rule the roost from the Front Range of the Rockies through the Midwest and Northeast, and that general temperature realm, which is fairly close to average highs in mid-May, should hold through the weekend.

In the South, temperatures should gradually inch up beginning Friday.

The good news is we're not expecting any excessive heat to build in the South. Forecast highs this weekend will range from the 70s in the Carolinas and Tennessee Valley to the low to mid-80s in the Deep South. Rain and thunderstorm chances may also hold down temperatures this weekend in the Southern Plains.

Looking ahead to next week, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is forecasting near or above-average temperatures over much of the country, though a wetter pattern with increased chance of showers and thunderstorms could put a damper on this warm up in the nation's mid-section.

(MAPS: 7-Day U.S. Rain Forecast)

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