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Weather forecasting and analysis, space and historic events, climate information

2:50 PM | I'll bet the groundhog is hiding

Paul Dorian


What a difference a year makes! Last March, the temperatures in Philadelphia ended up a whopping 8.7 degrees above normal whereas this year, the monthly temperatures are almost certain to end up below normal thanks to a colder-than-normal second half. No change today in the colder-than-normal outlook for the second half of March in the Mid-Atlantic region. In fact, all of the latest information confirms this longer-term outlook with an especially “nasty-looking” cold during the last ten days of the month. On the precipitation side of things, it does look like an active and fast-moving overall weather pattern for the next couple of weeks with numerous systems to deal with in the Mid-Atlantic.

The first system that will affect us is currently dropping southeastward across the Northern Plains and it will spread precipitation into the region early Saturday. While plain rain is likely in and around the DC metro region on Saturday, it should be just cold enough for some snow and sleet north of the PA/MD border, and there can even be some snow accumulations across SE PA, central NJ, and points northeastward to the NYC metro region; especially, on grassy surfaces and in higher elevation locations. After a short break on Sunday, a second system will approach the I-95 corridor from the southwest by early Monday and it should be just cold enough again in the morning hours on Monday for some more snow and sleet in parts of the Mid-Atlantic such as SE PA before milder air moves in and changes all of the precipitation to plain rain for the period from later Monday afternoon into Tuesday. In fact, some of the rain can actually become quite heavy Monday night/early Tuesday ahead of a strong cold front which will usher in cold air for the middle and latter parts of next week – setting the stage for some “nasty” cold during the last ten days of March in the Mid-Atlantic.