After a mild beginning to the week, another Canadian cold shot has arrived in the Mid-Atlantic region and it will stay below normal for much of the week. In fact, temperatures today and tomorrow will likely average some 10 degrees or so below normal in the I-95 corridor from DC-to-Philly-to-NYC despite some April sunshine and there will be a stiff NW wind on both days to make it feel even colder than the actual air temperature. Furthermore, in perhaps the last gasp for winter, a coastal storm early Friday will likely bring some chilly rain to the I-95 corridor, and there could even be some ice pellets in higher elevation, interior Mid-Atlantic locations to close out the work week. However, after that storm passes by, the weekend will bring a noticeable warmup with high temperatures likely approaching 60 degrees in many Mid-Atlantic locations on Sunday afternoon and all signs point to a different type of pattern setting up for the next couple of weeks. While it won’t stay above normal each and every day, the overall cold pattern that we’ve experienced in recent weeks does change by early next week and there should be more numerous mild days in the eastern US as we progress through the month of April.
As far as March is concerned, it ended up well below normal temperature-wise throughout the I-95 corridor and much different than one year ago. Philly was 2.3 degrees below normal for the month which made it the coldest March since 2005 and the 3rd month in the last 5 with below normal temperatures (other two being February and November). March 2012 was 8.7 degrees above normal in Philly. DC was 3 degrees below normal this March, 13 degrees colder than last March, and the substantial turnaround in monthly temperatures from one year ago has made a big difference in the timing of the peak for the cherry blossoms. March 2012 saw a peak on March 20th and this year’s peak has yet to occur – probably in the next 5-7 days. Farther north, Central Park in New York City officially ended up 2.4 degrees below normal for March with no days even reaching the 60 degree mark whereas March 2012 brought high temperatures as lofty as 78 degrees.