After a brief warm-up this weekend, chilly temperatures are expected to delay spring weather until about mid-April, according to climate forecasters. March is meanwhile all but assured to be more of a fourth month of winter than a first month of spring.
Normal temperatures by this time of year are around 60 degrees, but that is about as warm as it's supposed to get from Friday through Monday. After that, highs are forecast to fall back below normal.
As AccuWeather.com's Henry Margusity explains, the Arctic Oscillation, a climate pattern that sends cold polar air south, is showing no signs of diverting from a pattern that chills the eastern U.S. The pattern could mean another spring dusting of snow for the nation's midsection and New England early next week (though not Maryland), according to his forecast.
Forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center in College Park meanwhile expect more-likely-than-not odds of colder-than-normal temperatures for the East through at least April 10.
"Anybody that’s looking for spring, they're just going to have to wait, because it’s not coming anytime soon," AccuWeather senior meteorologist Tom Kines said after Monday's record-setting snowfall in Baltimore.
Through Wednesday, March's average temperature at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport dipped slightly below 40 degrees, which is 3 degrees below normal and just 2 degrees warmer than the average temperature for December through February.
February's average temperature was slightly below normal. If March's average stays below normal despite the (relative) warm-up coming this weekend, it would be for the third time since February 2011, after a nearly two-year-long stretch of above-average temperatures.