Spring fever: Northeast cities chasing 90-degree highs

A major flip of the weather pattern will allow temperatures to shoot through the roof in the Northeast as some locations may hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the last days of April, AccuWeather meteorologists say.

Millions yearning for warm sunshine and a taste of summertime will get their wish, as much of the region says goodbye to chilly air-at least for a little while.

"Despite some clouds, cool air and a little shower activity this past weekend, it has been relatively dry recently and that dryness will help boost temperatures in many places to the warmest levels of this year so far and the warmest that it has been since last September," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek said.

Daytime temperatures rose into the 70s and 80s Sunday afternoon.

"If forecasts hold, Monday will be the warmest stretch of weather since the heat wave spanning Sept. 3-9 in Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Matt Benz said. "If these areas have highs in the 80s for multiple days during the upcoming week, it will be the first time for that since early October."

The temperature at Reagan National Airport reached 84 degrees Sunday afternoon, surpassing the previous highest temperature recorded this year. AccuWeather meteorologists expect temperatures to come within a few degrees of 90 on Monday and Tuesday.

The record of 91 set in 2017 on Monday could be challenged. Should the temperature reach 90 during the stretch, it will be a couple of weeks ahead of the historical average of May 16. The earliest date on record that temperatures hit the 90-degree mark in the Washington, D.C., area was March 22, 1907.

Temperatures may also come within a few degrees of 90 in Philadelphia and Baltimore early this week. Richmond, Virginia, managed to reach 90 on April 15. Much of the Northeast experienced its warmest days on April 15 and 16. Temperatures are expected to blow away the season-high mark of 82 in New York's Central Park on Monday.

Along with the warmth will be an uptick in humidity levels during the last days of April.

"The upcoming conditions may not be considered humid for the summer, but the humidity will be noticeable for late April standards," Dombek said.


The scope of the warmth won't be as impactful farther to the northeast, especially in coastal areas, as a general flow off the Atlantic, known as a backdoor cool front, may intervene.

"While New York City certainly gets warm on Monday, the metro area may struggle with temperatures from Tuesday to Wednesday with the stalled-out front," Benz said.

Following a high near 90 on Monday, temperatures may be no better than the 70s on Tuesday and Wednesday and could get stuck in the 60s in some places.

Temperatures maxed out in the upper 60s in Boston and the east coast of Massachusetts on Monday with clouds putting up a fight. By contrast, Boston's western suburbs and much of interior New England should have temperatures climbing into the 70s. In the wake of the front on Tuesday and Wednesday, highs are projected to be in the 50s in Boston.

As a push of cooler air approaches from the Midwest, spotty shower activity may evolve into gusty thunderstorms in parts of the Northeast from Monday to Tuesday. Some of the storms could become severe.

AccuWeather's long-range team of meteorologists is looking well into May for the Northeast and warn that the warmth into early this week does not mean an end to episodes of chilly weather for the region.

"The period spanning May 6-8 is likely to bring another round of chill for the Northeast, especially from central Pennsylvania to New York State, where frost may occur again," AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said.

Temperatures toward the end of the first week of May are not likely to dip as low as on Thursday and Friday morning over the interior Northeast when temperatures as low as the low 20s were recorded. Still, the upcoming warmth could put emerging tender vine and orchard growth at risk for a frost in May. Those planting annual flowers and vegetables in the garden may need to take precautions.

During the middle of May 2023, temperatures plunged into the 20s, resulting in a hard and damaging freeze for parts of the interior Northeast.

Pastelok added that part of Mother's Day weekend could be chilly and perhaps wet in the Northeast.

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