After a February that broke heat records, the winter cold is back

(CNN) — During the last few weeks, high temperatures have broken records. It is possible that many have already said goodbye to winter and have given way to spring. But don’t get too used to warmer conditions. There could be a big change in temperatures coming next week, and it won’t be subtle.

The Weather Prediction Center is forecasting below-average temperatures across much of the country starting this weekend and through much of next week, and possibly beyond.

The cold snap could bring snow as far south as the Appalachians next week and into the mid-Atlantic. It could even snow in Washington, where some cherry trees are already in bloom. Areas that have seen little or no snowfall this winter could make up some of the shortfall during the last breath of winter.

The map shows areas with temperatures above and below normal from March 11 to 15. CNN

Some snow may fall. “I’m cautiously optimistic for snow lovers, as it could snow in the mid-Atlantic and other areas that have had no snow at all,” said Jon Gottschalk, head of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

Although the exact temperatures and impacts are still being refined, the Climate Prediction Center suggests that the southeast will feel the swing in temperatures the most. Temperatures are expected to be at least 8°C below normal, after February recorded temperatures between 8 and 13°C above normal.

Here are some of the cities that have experienced the five warmest meteorological winters (December 1, 2022 to February 28, 2023):

  • Tupelo, Mississippi: 1st warmest
  • New York (Central Park): 2nd warmest
  • Miami: 2nd warmest
  • Atlanta (Hartsfield International Airport): 2nd warmest
  • Houston: 2nd warmest
  • Washington: 3rd warmest
  • New Orleans: 3rd warmest
  • Nashville: 4th warmest
  • Boston: 5° warmer
  • Dallas – Fort Worth: 5th warmest

The heat has come everywhere. Aside from the West, which has seen a historic winter of cold and snow, much of the country has been uncharacteristically warm.

“Much of the cold has been bottled up in the Arctic for much of this year so far, but that seems to be changing and most people in the US will feel it by the end of this week,” the meteorologist explained. CNN senior Brandon Miller. “On the bright side, there just isn’t as much cold air in March that invades the US from the left and creates a deep freeze, like what we had in late December.”

Temperatures expected for the morning of March 14. (in Fahrenheit)

The Tennessee Valley will experience a large thermal oscillation, going from 26.6 °C last week to maximums of 4.4 °C next week. We could register several mornings with temperatures below zero, which is a great concern for agriculture.

“The main impact we’re concerned about is vegetation or potential crop losses, if they occur, because we expect sub-zero temperatures to go quite far south,” Gottschalk said.

Rusty Mangrum is one such farmer. He grows hundreds of thousands of plants a year, including fruit trees, at his McMinnville, Tennessee, nursery. Its trees, like most in the South and Mid-South, already think it’s spring.

“Many trees are flowering due to the warm temperatures,” says Mangrum.

Rusty Mangrum takes a look at his Red Barron peach trees, which are already blooming due to the recent warm temperatures. Credit: Janice Mangrum

Mangrum says that if the drop in temperatures materializes, they have a lot to lose.

“When we get a cold snap below freezing, it will eventually kill the blooms and they won’t produce fruit that year. So you lose a whole year’s worth of fruit,” Mangrum explains.

According to Mangrum, his plants could still produce fruit if the cold snap is short-lived, but if the cold lasts for more than a day, it could not only be a problem for farmers, but also for consumers.

We will continue to keep an eye on the forecasts and the cold weather ahead, but in the meantime, we have a few more days of warm temperatures.

“Highs are expected to reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit this afternoon in the northern Ohio Valley and 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the southern and southern Plains,” the Weather Prediction Center said. “These warm temperatures could break several daily maximum records.”

By mid-week, heavy rain will fall on the southern Plains. Showers and thunderstorms could be reported from North Texas to Arkansas. The rain is expected to persist for much of the week, due to a stalled frontal boundary.

“This will lead to the possibility of scattered flash flooding, particularly in parts of central/eastern Oklahoma and northwestern Arkansas on Tuesday night,” the forecast center said.

By the end of the week, cooler temperatures will settle in the east. Gusty winds will help temperatures feel even cooler, and this should signal a turnaround to end record heat across much of the East.

— CNN Meteorologist Haley Brink contributed to this report.

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