East to Ride Temperature Roller Coaster Through This Weekend

Alex Sosnowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

AccuWeather reports after a day likely to be the warmest since last fall in many locations of the East on Thursday, temperatures will take a big dip by the weekend.

According to AccuWeather.com Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "Temperatures have gyrated like a roller coaster during much of the month and the ride is nowhere near being over."

When comparing forecast highs on Thursday with lows Saturday night, many locations will experience a 40-degree Fahrenheit temperature drop. In some cases the temperature change can be as much as 50 degrees colder.

Temperatures will surge into the 50s in New England, the 60s and 70s in the mid-Atlantic and the 80s in the South despite clouds and rounds of rain.

After the temptation to wear shorts and shed winter coats on Thursday, people in the Northeast will soon again be shivering and folks in the South will be reaching for jackets by the weekend.

The East will enter the early stage of the downhill slide on Friday as colder air pushes into the Appalachians and then on to the Atlantic coast as the day progresses.

A significantly colder day is in the kiosk for Saturday throughout the region.

Highs will range from the 20s in the mountains of New England to near 40 in New York City to the lower 50s in Atlanta and near 70 in Orlando on Saturday.

The combination of clouds, cold air, gusty winds and even some snowflakes flying in the Northeast will result in AccuWeather.com RealFeel® Temperatures 10-20 degrees lower than the actual temperature at times.

Enough snow could fall to coat the ground from parts of the Northeast spanning Friday into Saturday as the cold air settles in. The best chance of a small accumulation is from the lower Great Lakes to the central Appalachians and portions of New England.

The chill moving in over the interior South could bring a freeze to some locations from parts of the Carolinas to the northern part of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

The temperature change will be a breath of fresh air in Florida, which has been very warm much of the month. Highs most days this month in Orlando have been in the 80s and temperatures have averaged about 8 degrees above normal.

Temperatures are projected to rebound slowly on Palm Sunday into early next week in the East.

However, the temperature rebound may not occur quickly enough to prevent another dose of snow for portions of the Great Lakes and interior Northeast. Some wet snow is possible later Sunday into Monday.

"Dramatic temperature and weather swings are not uncommon for March, which usually behaves like an ever-changing chameleon, perhaps more so than the 'in like a lion and out like a lamb' characterization people make," Abrams said.