State College, Pa. -- 23 February 2011 -- AccuWeather reports based on newly appointed leader of AccuWeather's Long-Range Forecasting Team Paul Pastelok's forecast for the coming weeks, it appears winter will keep delivering punches from the Plains into the Northeast.
Pastelok says that more storms and shots of cold will hit areas mainly north of Interstate 70 from the Plains into the East through the first seven to 10 days of March.
From late March into early April, he is also still warning of a possible return of cold and wintry events to this general area. Farther south through the Mississippi and Tennessee valleys, Pastelok is concerned about a nasty severe weather season.
Winter Makes a Comeback across Northern Tier of U.S.
Last week's record warmth and rapid snowmelt has become a distant memory for many people from the northern Plains into the Northeast.
Winter has made a comeback this week, with a blizzard dropping more than a foot of snow in Minneapolis and roughly 10 inches falling in Detroit. Snow has also re-whitened the ground in many places across the lower Midwest and mid-Atlantic, including Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
Pastelok is predicting more waves of cold and snow for parts of these areas through next week and beyond. "We'll be in an active weather pattern over the next 10 days with a few storms that bear watching," he said.
AccuWeather.com meteorologists are saying one such storm set to hit the Midwest and Northeast later this week could be big trouble.
Pastelok is also concerned about the potential for a storm early next week to bring heavy snow and ice to areas from the southern and central Rockies through the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes. There is still some uncertainty in whether or not this will be a rain or snow event for big cities of the Northeast.
The rounds of below-normal temperatures, he says, will generally stay north of I-70 through next week with more significant cooling coming to the Great Lakes after March 4.
According to Pastelok, bitterly cold air aimed at western Canada and the northern Rockies this week will end up shifting farther east next week, targeting the northern Plains, Midwest and eventually the Northeast.
He says that the core of the cold could again shift eastward from western Canada and the northern Rockies into these same areas later March into early April.
However, Pastelok maintains that there will be more variation in temperatures with warm-ups following the cold spells. He says that the persistence of colder-than-normal conditions that gripped the eastern two-thirds of the country December through mid-February is over.
While there will be a couple of cooler periods for areas south of I-70 from the Southwest into the lower Mississippi Valley over the next 10 days, this region will generally be warming up.
Nasty Severe Weather Season Ahead
Pastelok is concerned about the potential for the severe weather season this spring to be nasty from the lower and mid-Mississippi Valley into the Tennessee Valley. This means there could be a higher number of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes than average in this area.
He adds that this potential will be even higher if cold air returns to the northern part of the Plains and East later March into April.
Severe weather season usually starts ramping up across the Gulf Coast states late February into March and shifts northward across the Plains and East in the months that follow through summer.
The peak in tornado season typically doesn't happen until April or May for much of the Plains, Midwest and Southeast.
Pastelok's official forecast for spring 2011 will be released next week. Meteorologically, spring begins March 1. Astronomically, it starts March 20 this year.
More About Our New Long-Range Forecast Leader
Paul Pastelok is the newly appointed leader of AccuWeather's Long-Range Forecasting Team. Paul has nearly two decades of forecasting experience and been an integral part of the Long-Range Forecasting Team since its inception in 2007.
He has a proven track record working with clients in a variety of industries, including transportation, utilities, energy, agriculture, manufacturing, education and more. .
Pastelok has excellent communications experience with clients, having years of experience briefing television clients as well as delivering forecasts over the airwaves.
A Penn State graduate in meteorology, Paul began his career at AccuWeather in 1992. His well-rounded meteorological experience includes international, short-range and severe weather forecasting. Paul also has extensive experience with energy and commodities, co-hosting the video series "Weather and your Wallet."
By Heather Buchman, Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com