Temperature rollercoaster to begin big upswing following winterlike chill in central, eastern US

After temperatures bottom out to levels more typical of December, warmer air will rally once again to deliver temperatures more typical of mid- to late October for much of the eastern half of the nation late this week and this weekend, AccuWeather meteorologists say.

There is more room for temperatures to fall as the outbreak of cold air expands across the eastern half of the United States. The coldest air was still moving into the Northeast with blustery conditions. But, even as winds subside into Thursday morning, temperatures will bottom out under a clearing sky in the Southeast.

Temperatures in much of the East will plunge to their lowest point since spring by Thursday morning.

Frosts and freezes will be widespread across the interior South, Northeast and much of the Midwest, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bill Deger said, adding that the conditions into Thursday morning will mark the end of the growing season in most areas. Temperatures in portions of the South will dip to record-challenging levels.

In Nashville, temperatures will bottom out in the upper 20s around daybreak on Thursday morning. The last time the temperature in the city was this low was on March 20, when the low was 21.


At Houston's Intercontinental Airport, the last time temperature dipped to the mid-30s was back on Feb. 18. On Thursday morning, the daily record low of 34 degrees could be challenged as temperatures fall into the mid-30s.

Temperatures bottomed out at 29 degrees in Chicago on Wednesday morning. It was back on Mar. 30 when temperatures were last in that territory.

It's a similar story for the Northeast. Many areas will experience their lowest temperatures since early April or March. In New York City, should temperatures dip to 36 degrees on Thursday morning, it will be the coldest morning since April 30, when the low was 31.

The cold spell across the eastern U.S. will be fleeting, opening the door for warmer air to return following the coldest conditions in months.

A strong warming trend will commence over the South Central, Southeast and Northeast states on Thursday afternoon and will continue in most areas through the weekend.

In Dallas, temperatures will climb 5-10 degrees most days from Thursday through Sunday. Following Wednesday's high of 56, which is typical for late December or early January, highs will ratchet upward and will approach 80 on Sunday, which is the historical average for mid-October.

Atlanta, like Dallas, will recover from its winterlike high of 55 on Wednesday to mid-October-like highs in the mid-70s on Sunday.

In the Northeast, the December-like chill and accompanying snowflakes in some areas for the middle of the week, the warmup will be no less dramatic than in the South. In New York City, daytime temperatures in the 40s on Wednesday will be erased bit by bit each day through the weekend. Highs on Saturday and Sunday will be in the mid-60s. There is a high chance that the Big Apple could snap its streak of weekend rain just in time for Sunday's famous marathon. It has rained eight weekends in a row in the city.

In the Midwest, the warmup will make decent progress through Friday but is then likely to reach a plateau this weekend as a storm from the Northwest advances eastward across the northern tier.

Temperatures will rebound into the 50s in Chicago and Detroit by Friday. However, due to clouds and the chance of rain showers, temperatures this weekend are expected to level off or even take a step back in parts of the Upper Midwest, including places such as Minneapolis.

The weather in most areas will cooperate for football games this weekend. Following a cool start for tailgating, conditions should be comfortable for most people during the afternoon and evening hours, considering that it will be early November.

As a reminder, don't forget to turn the clocks back one hour before going to bed Saturday night as daylight saving time will come to an end.

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