Cold air, harsh winds to persist into weekend in wake of nor'easter

In a maneuver unlike much of the winter season, the storm that unloaded feet of snow on northern New England will not be in a hurry to leave the Northeast. Effects from the storm, ranging from cold air and gusty winds, will linger into the weekend in much of the eastern part of the United States, AccuWeather meteorologists say.

During much of the winter season, storms rolled in then quickly departed, but the storm still evolving in the Northeast will be slow to move. Gusty winds and cold air generated by this storm will stick around a bit longer in much of the East and especially the Northeast.

A large dip in the jet stream will linger in the Eastern states this weekend in response to the large storm. The key to this sort of jet stream pattern, which resembles the Greek letter Omega, is that the weather tends to change slowly rather than be highly progressive.

The result will be temperature departures below the historical average of 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit. Where the sun is out, it may ease the cold a bit during the day, but in the shade and at night, it will feel considerably colder than the actual temperature, thanks to brisk winds. Typical highs in early April range from the low 40s in the northern tier of the East to the mid-50s in New York City and near 70 in Atlanta.

For the tens of millions of people who will be venturing out as the rain and snow depart, the combination of the cold air and breezy to windy conditions will create AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures more like March or February in some cases.

Saturday is the first day of trout season in Pennsylvania, and hundreds of thousands of anglers will be taking to area streams, rivers and lakes. In 2023, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission reported that nearly 800,000 fishing licenses were purchased, and more than 500,000 anglers had purchased a trout stamp, which allows for the taking of trout in Pennsylvania's waterways.

"Not only may 2024 anglers have to deal with cloudy waters and high stream and lake levels on Saturday, due to recent excessive rainfall, but also brisk and cold conditions as well," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist and angler Dave Dombek said. In some cases, water levels may be too high and stream flows may be too fast for safe fishing.

RealFeel® Temperatures will range from the teens to the 20s F on Saturday morning in much of Pennsylvania and may improve only slightly during the midday and afternoon, Dombek said.

Even as the snow winds down into Saturday in New England, additional power outages may occur as trees adjust to the weight of snow falling off the limbs due to gusty winds.

South and west of the gusty wind zone, portions of the Midwest and interior South may have to contend with some frost. Because of the mild winter in much of the region, budding and leaf-out are way ahead of schedule. Tender blossoms, leaves and potted warm-season plants may need to be protected from frost in parts of the middle Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee valleys as well as Piedmont areas of the Southeast states.


Temperatures at ground level may dip to 32 degrees or lower. Official temperature readings are taken at eye level and may be several degrees higher than near the ground on a calm morning.

Along the Gulf coast, including much of Florida, the weather pattern will make for delightful conditions for spring breakers, with sunshine, highs generally in the 70s and low humidity levels this weekend in the wake of stormy conditions at times into midweek.

As the Northeast storm finally gives up by early next week, a narrow wedge of dry air may be enough to allow good viewing conditions in part of northern New England, where there is deep snow on the ground in the wake of the nor'easter. Remember that some secondary roads may be blocked by trees, power lines and snow.

Clouds and showers may spoil the show farther west from upstate New York to western Pennsylvania.

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