A surge of very warm air is poised to make a run along the Eastern Seaboard and Appalachians just in time for the official start of spring -- and some areas may challenge records that have been standing for several decades.
The big warmup will occur ahead of a series of storms traveling from the southern Plains to the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada this week. And, even though temperatures will not reach criteria for an official heat wave for the region, or three consecutive days at 90 degrees or above, forecasters say it will feel like a brief heat wave for spring standards.
"Many areas are likely to experience highs well into the 60s, 70s and even the lower 80s late this week," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.
The anticipated warmth will put temperatures at record-challenging levels. In some cases, records date back as far as the World War II and I eras.
For example, the record at Washington, D.C.'s Reagan National Airport, is 83 from back in 1945 on Friday. AccuWeather is forecasting a high in the middle to upper 80s that day.
Meanwhile, it is a similar story in Atlanta on Thursday. Temperatures are forecast to reach at least into the lower 80s. The record on Thursday is 85 set in 1982.
"The warmth will provide an opportunity for people to let fresh air into their homes and to allow more of the general population to go for walks participate in outdoor exercise without being in crowded environments," Anderson said.
The big boost in temperatures will be preceded by and accompanied by rounds of rain as a strong storm cuts from the southern Plains to the Upper Midwest late this week.
However, as the storm swings by early this weekend, another big change will take place as a sweep of much colder air will slice from the Midwest to the Northeast.
Temperatures are likely to be slashed by 30 to 50 degrees from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning, although warmth may try to hold on one more day along part of the Atlantic coast from around the Delmarva Peninsula onsouth.