Though the calendar says it's spring, folks in the East will swelter in summer-like heat this week while some residents of the West will need to break out snow shovels.
High temperatures Wednesday through Friday in the eastern U.S. will climb well into the 80s as far north as Maine, while many of the major cities from Boston to New York City, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit will approach or surpass 90 degrees on one or more days this week.
In the Piedmont Triad area, WFMY News 2's Chief Meteorologist Tim Buckley is calling for high 90 degrees on Wednesday.
Temperatures in many cities will approach record levels, some dating back to the 1800s, AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. Thursday's record high of 96 degrees in Washington, D.C. — set on May 18, 1877, shortly after Rutherford B. Hayes was elected president — could be threatened.
High humidity levels will add to the misery. The National Weather Service calls it an "early taste of summer," with the dreaded three h's of haze, heat and humidity.
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The heat and humidity is courtesy of a bend in the jet stream that's causing an upper-level ridge of high pressure to form along the East Coast, resulting in temperatures 10 to 25 degrees above average, weather.com said. Air sinks under high atmospheric pressure, which prevents clouds from forming.
A cold front will allow temperatures to retreat closer to mid-May averages this weekend in the Northeast, weather.com reported. Temperatures will remain warm across the Mid-Atlantic into next weekend, however, with temperatures in the lower 80s, WeatherBug said.
Meanwhile, residents of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Utah will see heavy, wet snow from a developing winter storm. Some mountainous areas will likely see over a foot to as much as 18 inches of snow.
Salt Lake City will see a light snow accumulation Wednesday, WeatherBug predicted, while Denver could pick up several inches of slush from Thursday into Friday.
The National Weather Service issued various winter storm warnings, winter storm watches and winter weather advisories from the Cascades into the northern and central Rockies in advance of the storm.
High temperatures will only reach the 30s in many locations.
Snow this late in the spring season is not totally unheard of in the Mountain West, according to WeatherBug. Salt Lake City averages 0.3 inches of snow in May, while Denver typically gets 1.7 inches.
Stormy in the center
After a round of severe storms in the Plains on Tuesday night, thunderstorms may erupt again on Wednesday afternoon from eastern Nebraska to northwestern Wisconsin, though they may not reach severe levels, AccuWeather said.
Yet another barrage of severe thunderstorms and flooding rainfall will hammer parts of the central U.S. from Thursday to Sunday, according to AccuWeather.
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