4 Things to Watch in the First Few Days of Spring

Linda Lam
Published: March 21, 2020

The first few days of spring may bring snow to the Northeast, while a wet pattern will continue in the South and West. Additionally, more temperature changes are anticipated.

Below, we take a closer look at what to expect in the Lower 48 as a new season begins.

1. Northeast Snow?

High pressure will keep cold temperatures over the Northeast late this weekend into early next week, and temperatures will drop below freezing in parts of New England and the interior Northeast.

As high pressure slides eastward, an area of low pressure is expected to develop off the East Coast. This coastal low will track northeastward Monday into Tuesday.

Moisture may stream into the region while temperatures are below freezing in some locations. This would allow snow to fall, although areas closer to the coast and farther south would likely have mainly rain. Higher elevation areas have the best chance of seeing accumulating snow early next week.

The amount and type of precipitation, especially toward the coast, will depend on the exact track of this system. However, uncertainty remains on the track of this low, so be sure to check back to weather.com for updates.


Monday's Outlook

2. More Rain in the South

Rain and thunderstorms accompanied a cold front as it moved through parts of the South on Friday, the first full day of spring.

A wet pattern will persist into next week across much of the South as the late-week front lingers in the region into this weekend. In addition, two systems will move into the region and will increase moisture this weekend into midweek in the South, Midwest and East.

A few strong to severe thunderstorms may develop early week. On Sunday, a few strong to severe thunderstorms may develop from eastern Texas into central Louisiana, central Mississippi and west-central Alabama.

The threat of severe thunderstorms increases on Monday from northern Texas into central Kansas and eastward into western Arkansas. Large hail, damaging wind gusts and a couple of tornadoes are possible.


Monday's Severe Thunderstorm Forecast

The chance for strong to severe thunderstorms will shift a bit farther eastward Tuesday and will stretch from northern Mississippi and northwestern Alabama into western Kentucky.

(MAPS: Weekly Planner

Rainfall amounts will likely be light to moderate for most locations, but localized flooding cannot be ruled out since the ground is already saturated.


Rainfall Forecast

3. West Coast System

Generally dry conditions are expected for the West Coast into the weekend, but two systems will approach the region as the first full week of spring begins.

One system will move into the Pacific Northwest as an area of low pressure approaches California.

Rain and mountain snow will spread into the Northwest and California by Sunday night and will continue into midweek.

Light to moderate rainfall is expected in the lower elevations of California, while heavy snow is likely in the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada. Light to moderate precipitation is also expected in the Northwest.


Rain and Snow Outook

4. Temperature Changes Ahead

Temperatures were up to 30 degrees warmer than average for the East on Friday, with highs in the mid-70s reaching as far north as Syracuse and Albany, New York. Several locations in the mid-Atlantic set record highs with 80s recorded in Washington DC and Atlantic City, New Jersey.

However, temperatures will plummet behind a cold front pushing through the East over the weekend. High temperatures will be closer to average for much of the Lower 48, with the biggest exception in the South.

Saturday morning will be chilly in the Plains and Midwest, where lows will be 10 to 25 degrees below average. Some areas near the Canadian border have dropped in the single digits above and below zero as of early Saturday.

Cooler conditions won't last long, as another warmup is ahead for most areas east of the Rockies next week.

Much of the Plains, Midwest and South can expect temperatures 10 to 20 degrees above average by midweek.

(MORE: Here's When Temperatures Typically Warm Up


Forecast Highs

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.


The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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