Polar Vortex Releases Grip: Warmup Sweeping Northeast, Midwest

The polar vortex that has swept across much of the country in recent days loosened its grip on Sunday as high temperatures in the frozen states are expected to climb into the 40s and 50s.

Relatively mild weather and above-average temperatures could dominate the forecast for the next 10 days, AccuWeather said. The warming forecast came a day after Boston; Providence, Rhode Island; Hartford, Connecticut; Worcester, Massachusetts; Albany, New York; and Glens Falls, New York, were among cities that set or tied record temperatures for Feb. 4, according to the National Weather Service.

The freezing temperatures came after a mild January that ranked among the three hottest on record for more than a dozen cities from Maine to Kentucky, AccuWeather said.

“There is every indication that February as a whole will be above average in the East,” said AccuWeather long-range meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

AT LEAST ONE DEAD:Violent winds, freezing cold in the northeast; warm temperatures on Sunday

Warming trends:

►Temperatures will tend to rise by almost 40 degrees in some places on Sunday. In Boston, where two record lows were set within hours on Friday evening, temperatures will climb into the upper 40s on Sunday afternoon.

►Washington, DC was expecting temperatures in the 50s on Sunday and 60s later in the week. Saturday morning the temperature dropped to 17 degrees with a wind chill of 3 degrees. Philadelphia experienced zero wind chill on Saturday and could see 60 degrees by the end of the week.

►The warming trend was also sweeping the Midwest. Green Bay, Wisconsin, which dipped to 8 below on Friday with a wind chill of 28 below, could emerge above freezing on Sunday, and temperatures could approach 40 degrees later in the week.

MOUNT WASHINGTON WIND CHILL: New Hampshire’s high fell to minus 108 F, likely the lowest on record

Mount Washington wind chill won’t reach 108 below – but don’t wear shorts

Wind chill at the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire made national headlines on Saturday when it fell to minus 108 F. Brian Brettschneider, an Alaska climatologist, said the mark was likely wind chill the lowest ever recorded in the country. As of 10 a.m. Sunday, the temperature at Sargent’s Purchase, which includes the summit of Mount Washington, was 11 degrees. Winds were whipping at 56 mph, providing a wind chill temperature of -16 degrees, according to the US Weather Predictions Center calculator.

Mount Washington Observatory, atop the tallest mountain in the northeast, also recorded an actual temperature of minus 47, tying an observatory record set in 1934 and a wind gust of 127 mph.

New York returns to warm after brutal days

New York City experienced a low of 3 degrees on Saturday. Temperatures will climb to nearly 50 degrees on Sunday, forecasters said. The normal high for New York on this date is around 40 degrees.

In January, temperatures in the city averaged almost 10 degrees above normal. A temperature difference for an entire month typically ranges from 2 degrees above to 2 degrees below normal, AccuWeather said.

“New York City has never had a January where each calendar day averaged above normal until this year,” said Dave Dombek, AccuWeather’s senior meteorologist.

After a brief respite, Texas on the way to another storm

Texans had a few days to warm up after last week’s severe ice storm that froze roads and caused hundreds of shipwrecks. The pause will be short-lived as a cold front from the Pacific is expected to reach parts of the state in the coming days, although its impact will not be as dramatic as last week’s system.

“A storm will strengthen in Texas late Monday through Tuesday, bringing the next round of wet weather and severe thunderstorms to the region,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty.

Central and southern Texas cities such as Austin, Waco, San Antonio and Houston can be hit by severe weather, including lightning, thunderstorms and 50 to 60 mph gusts of wind, Accuweather said. The storm is expected to move northeast Wednesday toward Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee.

USA Today

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