Soggy spring: Wet weather to return in the East

After what many in the East would consider a picture-perfect weekend with sunshine and warming conditions, AccuWeather meteorologists say a change in the pattern is going to bring a smorgasbord of weather conditions for the first week of May.

The second half of April turned out to be chilly for many across the Northeast. Cities like Buffalo, New York, to Philadelphia experienced temperatures, on average of 3-4 degrees below normal since April 15.

Fortunately for those yearning for some late-spring warmth, near- to above-normal temperatures are on the way for early May. This warmup, however, will come at the cost of some wet weather.


"An active weather pattern and lot of fluctuation in the position of the jet stream is expected across the East in the coming week, allowing for a new storm to push through every few days," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Renee Duff.

The first wave of this wet weather, spoiling the sunny skies as of late, began Sunday. Along with the return of rain, the storm brought some feisty thunderstorms from eastern Ohio and southwestern Pennsylvania down through West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and western Virginia into the evening.

As a result of these storms, severe hail was seen in parts of the Carolinas, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. On Sunday evening, ping pong size hail was reported in Morven, North Carolina. Thunderstorm wind damage was also reported in North Carolina on Sunday, including trees down on power lines to the west of Raleigh.

Downpours and gusty winds that swept across the Ohio Valley on Sunday made for slowed travel, especially along portions of Interstates 70, 79 and 64, where nearby storms dropped half dollar-sized hail.

The rain showers will then expand through New England for Monday.

Behind this wave of wet weather, a surge of warm air from the Southeast is expected, allowing for temperatures to trend closer to normal Monday and Tuesday.

For example, a high in the upper 70s is expected in locations like Washington, D.C. and Baltimore on Monday, while temperatures are set to peak in the lower 70s in places from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia on Tuesday. Temperatures of this caliber are a few degrees above normal for the first week of May.

However, not every location is forecast to have these milder conditions every day.

"The amount of sun that makes it through the clouds this time of year greatly impacts afternoon high temperatures in the Northeast. The stormy pattern may allow for less opportunities for sunshine, keeping temperatures from exceeding the norm for early May," Duff explained.

The day that any city experiences a little more sunshine, whether it be before or after wet weather moves through, is likely to be a little bit warmer, while the cooler days are likely to accompany clouds and the wet weather. Said clouds and showers are likely to keep it cooler than normal for New England cities like Hartford, Connecticut, and Boston for the first half of the week.

One such day, for many across the East, is likely to be Wednesday, when widespread showers are forecast to stretch from the New York-Canada border on southward through the Carolinas.

Some thunder may accompany this wave of rain, but downpours are unlikely to cause more than a few localized instances of flash flooding, mainly in low-lying and poor drainage areas. Instead, the expansive rain is likely to bring an end to the push of warmer air across the East, returning temperatures closer to normal, or perhaps a few degrees below average by Thursday.

More widespread cool conditions are likely to return towards the end of the week.

"Don't put away those heavier jackets just yet! A more pronounced southward dive in the jet stream could target the Northeast late in the week, allowing for chilly air to return," Duff said.

Widespread snow, like what was experienced across the Northeast in late-April, is not expected, according to AccuWeather meteorologists. However, some of the highest elevations could see a snowflakes mixing in with any rain that coincides with the cool-down.

As is normal for this time of year, shots of cool air could continue to make appearances in the Northeast through the first half of May.

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