Cold returns to the Midwest for St. Patrick's Day, chills the East later this week

Is Winter Returning?

By Nick Wiltgen and Chris Dolce

Much of the country has been exulting in springlike warmth over the past week after a prolonged period of cold in January and February east of the Rockies. Highs in the 70s have even made it as far north as the Dakotas during this warm spell over the weekend.

88 PHOTOS
East coast snow - NYC snow - winter weather - snowstorm
See Gallery
Cold returns to the Midwest for St. Patrick's Day, chills the East later this week
MARSHFIELD, MA - JANUARY 27: A chain link fence next to the damaged sea wall in Marshfield, Mass. was also brought down during winter storm Juno on Jan. 27, 2015. (Photo by Laura Crimaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
PLAINVIEW, NY - JANUARY 27: A youngster is bundled up for protection from the elements at Mattlin Middle School on January 27, 2015 in Plainview, New York. The Long Island region received between 12 and 30 inches of snow overnight into midday Tuesday from Winter Storm Juno. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
PLAINVIEW, NY - JANUARY 27: Residents take advantage of sledding opportunties at Mattlin Middle School on January 27, 2015 in Plainview, New York. The Long Island region received between 12 and 30 inches of snow overnight into midday Tuesday from Winter Storm Juno. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 27: Snow blankets the South End neighborhood, after 16 hours of snow accumulation on January 27, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. Twenty-six inches of snow fell on Boston by the late afternoon, and up to 33 inches in other parts of Massachusetts. (Photo by Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images)
SCITUATE, MA - JANUARY 27: A wave slams into a part of the Scituate, Mass. town sea wall as an evening high tide approaches. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
MARSHFIELD, MA - JANUARY 27: A home on Ocean Street in Marshfield, Mass. suffered damage from the force of the ocean during winter storm Juno on Jan. 27, 2015. (Photo by Laura Crimaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
MARSHFIELD, MA - JANUARY 27: Homes along the shore of Brant Rock on the ocean are destroyed by the force of the ocean during the blizzard. Large rocks have filled the area. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
MARSHFIELD, MA - JANUARY 27: Homes along the shore of Brant Rock on the ocean are destroyed by the force of the ocean during the blizzard. Large rocks have filled the area. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
MARSHFIELD, MA - JANUARY 27: Homes along the shore of Brant Rock on the ocean are destroyed by the force of the ocean during the blizzard. Downed power lines. Large rocks have filled the area. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
MARSHFIELD, MA - JANUARY 27: Homes along the shore of Brant Rock on the ocean are destroyed by the force of the ocean during the blizzard. Resident Simon Adkins from Marshfield brave the wind to survey the damage. Large rocks have filled the area. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, ME - JANUARY 27: Mary Moga of Portland walks down an empty Park Avenue as a blizzard hit Maine Tuesday, January 27, 2015. (Photo by Gabe Souza/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 27: A snow plow works to clear the streets of the Back Bay neighborhood in the late afternoon after 16 hours of snow accumulation during a blizzard on January 27, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. Twenty-six inches of snow fell on Boston by the late afternoon, and up to 33 inches in other parts of Massachusetts. (Photo by Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images)
MARSHFIELD, MA - JANUARY 27: Homes along the shore of Brant Rock on the ocean are destroyed by the force of the ocean during the blizzard. Large rocks have filled the area. Lobsters traps washed up on Ocean Street as an electric company truck stands by. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Newspaper dispensers stand covered in snow on Charles Street as winter storm Juno continues to move through Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. Snow will fall across eastern Massachusetts for the next several hours as the blizzard that missed New York buries much of New England, shutting down transportation and knocking out power to thousands of consumers and to Entergy Corp.'s Pilgrim nuclear plant. Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A howling blizzard heaped less snow on New York City that forecasters expected, leaving politicians defending their near-total shutdown on travel. (Jan. 27)
A snow plow cleans the area around the State House on Beacon Street as winter storm Juno continues to move through Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. Snow will fall across eastern Massachusetts for the next several hours as the blizzard that missed New York buries much of New England, shutting down transportation and knocking out power to thousands of consumers and to Entergy Corp.s Pilgrim nuclear plant. Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A snow plow cleans the area around the State House on Beacon Street as winter storm Juno continues to move through Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. Snow will fall across eastern Massachusetts for the next several hours as the blizzard that missed New York buries much of New England, shutting down transportation and knocking out power to thousands of consumers and to Entergy Corp.s Pilgrim nuclear plant. Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Cars sit covered in snow on Joy Street as winter storm Juno continues to move through the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. Snow will fall across eastern Massachusetts for the next several hours as the blizzard that missed New York buries much of New England, shutting down transportation and knocking out power to thousands of consumers and to Entergy Corp.'s Pilgrim nuclear plant. Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A woman struggles to cross Clarendon Street in the snow as winter storm Juno continues to move through Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. Snow will fall across eastern Massachusetts for the next several hours as the blizzard that missed New York buries much of New England, shutting down transportation and knocking out power to thousands of consumers and to Entergy Corp.'s Pilgrim nuclear plant. Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NORTH WINDHAM, ME - JANUARY 27: Tyler Emery of Windham rides his fat bike along Rt. 302 in North Windham while watching out for multiple snow plows. (Photo by John Patriquin/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
LEXINGTON, MA - JANUARY 27: A nurse on her way to work in Acton stops her car on the side of the road to clear her windshield wipers early morning during winter storm Juno on Tuesday. (Photo by Joanne Rathe/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 27: Snow blankets the South End neighborhood during a blizzard on January 27, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. Up to three feet of snow is expected to hit parts of Massachusetts. (Photo by Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images)
A woman walks on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York after a snowstorm on January 27, 2015. A blizzard initially billed as possibly one of the worst ever in New York left only moderate snow in the Big Apple -- and officials and forecasters red-faced -- as New England bore the brunt of the storm on January 27. Travel bans were lifted and limited public transport resumed in New York, where officials were forced to launch a vigorous defense of the measures put in place as Winter Storm Juno moved in on Monday. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 27: Snow blankets the Back Bay neighborhood during a blizzard on January 27, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. Up to three feet of snow is expected to hit parts of Massachusetts. (Photo by Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images)
LEXINGTON, MA - JANUARY 27: A bulldozer plows during winter storm Juno in the early morning. (Photo by Joanne Rathe/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - JANUARY 27: An emergency vehicle drives down a snowy Winthrop Shore Drive in the early morning following an overnight blizzard January 27, 2015 in Winthrop, Massachusetts. The blizzard hit the region bringing strong wind gusts and up to two feet of snow in some areas. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
Blizzard a bust for NYC as worst fears fail to materialize: http://t.co/n9k5NbqlbG #Blizzardof2015 http://t.co/Qdl5UdPF4t
This snow knows what is up! #blizzardof2015 [PHOTO/@GeorgeDSanchez] http://t.co/fpcWtNt3HK
Explore photos and updates from Globe reporters on #blizzardof2015 http://t.co/zPQVWtH1dJ #BOSnow http://t.co/ndnAeJefMc
US weather service meteorologist apologies for forecast of #blizzardof2015. https://t.co/AO6VOiKKCt http://t.co/3GWrd7AqIY
Eerie: Manhattan is effectively closed this AM. No private vehicles, no subway/buses. And, in truth, not much snow. http://t.co/SHzoBMQ6bg
GHOST TOWNS: Northeast blizzard keeps millions home as forecasters revise snow predictions: http://t.co/ZjvzmXzHOB http://t.co/lxreuKrLZb
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: Cars wade through a street following road closures in Times Square on January 26, 2015 in New York City. New York, and much of the Northeast, is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 10 to 30 inches of snow to the area. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Over 12" so far here at #Methuen PD as of 6 am. Need a plow to get these spare cruisers http://t.co/9k0liOohmA
Fresh snow always makes you even more romantic and fun, Central Park! http://t.co/xdkMFPTM8I
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: People walk down mostly empty streets following road closures in Times Square on January 26, 2015 in New York City. New York, and much of the Northeast, is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 10 to 30 inches of snow to the area. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: People walk down mostly empty streets following road closures in Times Square on January 26, 2015 in New York City. New York, and much of the Northeast, is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 10 to 30 inches of snow to the area. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: Cars wade through a street following road closures in Times Square on January 26, 2015 in New York City. New York, and much of the Northeast, is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 10 to 30 inches of snow to the area. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: A snowplow is seen on a street following road closures in Times Square on January 26, 2015 in New York City. New York, and much of the Northeast, is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 10 to 30 inches of snow to the area. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: People queue in a line at Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan on January 26, 2015 in New York City. New York, and much of the Northeast, is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 10 to 30 inches of snow to the area. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: Scott Leach withstands heavy snow fall and wind gusts of an approaching blizzard in New York, NY, January 26, 2015. A blizzard warning has been issued for New York City prompting the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to close all subway stations beginning tonight at 11 pm. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: Pedestrians walk along a Manhattan street in heavy snow on January 26, 2015 in New York City. New York, and much of the Northeast, is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 18 to 24 inches of snow to the area. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that only emergency vehicles will be allowed on area roads after 11pm. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: Pedestrians walk along a Manhattan street in heavy snow on January 26, 2015 in New York City. New York, and much of the Northeast, is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 18 to 24 inches of snow to the area. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that only emergency vehicles will be allowed on area roads after 11pm. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: Pedestrians walk along a Manhattan street in heavy snow on January 26, 2015 in New York City. New York, and much of the Northeast, is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 18 to 24 inches of snow to the area. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that only emergency vehicles will be allowed on area roads after 11pm. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: Pedestrians walk along a Manhattan street in heavy snow on January 26, 2015 in New York City. New York, and much of the Northeast, is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 18 to 24 inches of snow to the area. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that only emergency vehicles will be allowed on area roads after 11pm. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A woman pushes a stroller in a snow storm in New York on January 26, 2015. Thousands of flights were canceled Monday as millions of Americans in the Northeast braced for a winter storm that New York's mayor warned could be one of the biggest blizzards in history. Snow, which was already falling across the region, is expected to accumulate steadily throughout the day before turning into a major storm expected to paralyze parts of New York and New England. Officials in states along the US East Coast have urged residents to stay home as they prepare for Winter Storm Juno, which could dump up to three feet (about a meter) of snow in some areas. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
The #BlizzardOf2015: By the Numbers http://t.co/48b0U2uaK1 http://t.co/biiB5nPNR4
Midnight. Sledding. Cedar Hill. Dig it. #blizzardof2015 http://t.co/Abfw5nbVbi
Blizzard takes hold in northeastern U.S., affecting millions and bringing region to halt http://t.co/2T7enjHNtb http://t.co/L1EXgYNqMh
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: Pedestrians have a snowball fight in Times Square following a mandatory shutdown of the streets at 11 p.m. on January 26, 2015 in New York City. New York, and much of the Northeast, is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 10 to 30 inches of snow to the area. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: A man stands on skis in Times Square on January 26, 2015 in New York City. New York, and much of the Northeast, is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 10 to 30 inches of snow to the area. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: A man uses a snow thrower in Times Square on January 26, 2015 in New York City. New York, and much of the Northeast, is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 10 to 30 inches of snow to the area. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
A worker shovels snow from the front of a theater in New York's Times Square during a snow storm on January 26, 2015. A winter storm pounded the northeastern United US on January 26 hitting tens of millions of people and forcing the rare cancelation of Broadway shows in an 'historic' New York blizzard. Winter Storm Juno is expected to dump up to three feet (around a meter) of snow in parts of the northeast, with the worst affected areas likely to be New England, particularly Connecticut and Massachusetts. More than 6,560 flights on Monday and Tuesday were cancelled, the New York city transit system was to shut at 11pm and road travel made a criminal offense in 13 counties of New York state. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: An entrance to the subway is covered in snow in Times Square on January 26, 2015 in New York City. New York, and much of the Northeast, is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 10 to 30 inches of snow to the area. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Meteorologist Ari Sarsalari talks about how parts of the Northeast could see two feet or more of snow Monday night through Wednesday from Winter Storm Juno.
A man crosses a street in New York's Times Square during a snow storm on January 26, 2015. A winter storm pounded the northeastern United US on January 26 hitting tens of millions of people and forcing the rare cancelation of Broadway shows in an 'historic' New York blizzard. Winter Storm Juno is expected to dump up to three feet (around a meter) of snow in parts of the northeast, with the worst affected areas likely to be New England, particularly Connecticut and Massachusetts. More than 6,560 flights on Monday and Tuesday were cancelled, the New York city transit system was to shut at 11pm and road travel made a criminal offense in 13 counties of New York state. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
People cross a street covered in snow in New York's Times Square during a snow storm on January 26, 2015. A winter storm pounded the northeastern United US on January 26 hitting tens of millions of people and forcing the rare cancelation of Broadway shows in an 'historic' New York blizzard. Winter Storm Juno is expected to dump up to three feet (around a meter) of snow in parts of the northeast, with the worst affected areas likely to be New England, particularly Connecticut and Massachusetts. More than 6,560 flights on Monday and Tuesday were cancelled, the New York city transit system was to shut at 11pm and road travel made a criminal offense in 13 counties of New York state. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a state of emergency as residents prepare to be hit with a record amount of snow and blizzard conditions. (Jan. 26)
An employee bags groceries at a register while customers purchase items before the storm at Market Basket in Brockton, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Wind-driven snow falling as fast as four inches per hour is poised to bring travel and commerce to a standstill from New York to Boston. Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A customer grabs a case of water while stocking up for the storm at Market Basket in Brockton, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Wind-driven snow falling as fast as four inches per hour is poised to bring travel and commerce to a standstill from New York to Boston. Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Customers shop for supplies to prepare for the winter storm at a Home Depot Inc. store in Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Wind-driven snow falling as fast as four inches per hour is poised to bring travel and commerce to a standstill from New York to Boston. Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Customers line up to purchase items before the storm at Market Basket in Brockton, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Wind-driven snow falling as fast as four inches per hour is poised to bring travel and commerce to a standstill from New York to Boston. Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Snow and ice melter is displayed for sale at a Home Depot Inc. store in Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Wind-driven snow falling as fast as four inches per hour is poised to bring travel and commerce to a standstill from New York to Boston. Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A customer fills his cart with snow melt at a Home Depot Inc. store in Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Wind-driven snow falling as fast as four inches per hour is poised to bring travel and commerce to a standstill from New York to Boston. Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A shelf of water bottles sits nearly empty at Market Basket in Brockton, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Wind-driven snow falling as fast as four inches per hour is poised to bring travel and commerce to a standstill from New York to Boston. Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Customers push carts while stocking up for the storm at Market Basket in Brockton, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Wind-driven snow falling as fast as four inches per hour is poised to bring travel and commerce to a standstill from New York to Boston. Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A customer purchases the last available generator at a Home Depot Inc. store in Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Wind-driven snow falling as fast as four inches per hour is poised to bring travel and commerce to a standstill from New York to Boston. Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Customers shop for ice melt at a Home Depot Inc. store in Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Wind-driven snow falling as fast as four inches per hour is poised to bring travel and commerce to a standstill from New York to Boston. Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A customer purchases the last available generator at a Home Depot Inc. store in Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Wind-driven snow falling as fast as four inches per hour is poised to bring travel and commerce to a standstill from New York to Boston. Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A customer shops for supplies to prepare for the winter storm at a Home Depot Inc. store in Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Wind-driven snow falling as fast as four inches per hour is poised to bring travel and commerce to a standstill from New York to Boston. Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A customer pushes his cart filled with snow melt at a Home Depot Inc. store in Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Wind-driven snow falling as fast as four inches per hour is poised to bring travel and commerce to a standstill from New York to Boston. Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A customer purchases the last available generator at a Home Depot Inc. store in Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Wind-driven snow falling as fast as four inches per hour is poised to bring travel and commerce to a standstill from New York to Boston. Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: Cars drive on a Manhattan Street in heavy snow on January 26, 2015 in New York City. Much of the Northeast is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 10 to 30 inches of snow. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that only emergency vehicles will be allowed on area roads after 11pm. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A tugboat sails on the East River during a snow storm in New York on January 26, 2015. Thousands of flights were canceled as millions of Americans in the Northeast braced for a winter storm that New York's mayor warned could be one of the biggest blizzards in history. Snow, which was already falling across the region, is expected to accumulate steadily throughout the day before turning into a major storm expected to paralyze parts of New York and New England. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: A person walks along a Manhattan street in heavy snow on January 26, 2015 in New York City. Much of the Northeast is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 10 to 30 inches of snow. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that only emergency vehicles will be allowed on area roads after 11pm. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: A postal worker waits to cross Canal St. during a snowstorm on January 26, 2015 in New York City. Much of the Northeast is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 10 to 30 inches of snow. (Photo by Preston Rescigno/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: Snow and adverse weather conditions affect the daily life in New York, United States on January 26, 2015. US officials take precautions after American National Weather Service's warnings about the upcoming storm in the country's northeastern region. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: Snow and adverse weather conditions affect the daily life in New York, United States on January 26, 2015. US officials take precautions after American National Weather Service's warnings about the upcoming storm in the country's northeastern region. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: People walk along a Manhattan street in heavy snow on January 26, 2015 in New York City. New York, and much of the Northeast, is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 18 to 24 inches of snow to the area. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that only emergency vehicles will be allowed on area roads after 11pm. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - JANUARY 26: Heavy surf pounds the shoreline where a boardwalk once stood before it was damaged by Hurricane Sandy, on January 26, 2015 in Atlantic City, NJ. Much of the Northeast is bracing for a major winter storm which is expected to bring blizzard conditions and 10 to 30 inches of snow in some areas. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 26: In this handout provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from the GOES-East satellite, a major winter storm develops over the mid-Atlantic region and is bringing snow to the Northeast of the U.S. pictured at 14:15 UTC on January 26, 2015. Blizzard Warnings are in effect for the coastal areas from New Jersey to Maine. The storm will move along the northeast coastline from Monday night into Tuesday bringing a significant amount of snow and blustery winds across the northeast and New England causing blizzard conditions. Snow totals of 1 to 3 feet will occur from the New York City area into southern and eastern New England. (Photo by NOAA/NASA GOES Project via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 26: In this handout provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from the GOES-East satellite, a major winter storm develops over the mid-Atlantic region and is bringing snow to the Northeast of the U.S. pictured at 16:45 UTC on January 26, 2015. Blizzard Warnings are in effect for the coastal areas from New Jersey to Maine. The storm will move along the northeast coastline from Monday night into Tuesday bringing a significant amount of snow and blustery winds across the northeast and New England causing blizzard conditions. Snow totals of 1 to 3 feet will occur from the New York City area into southern and eastern New England. (Photo by NOAA/NASA GOES Project via Getty Images)
The National Weather Service said the nor'easter would bring heavy snow, powerful winds and widespread coastal flooding starting Monday and through Tuesday. (NOAA)
NOAA satellite loop taken on Monday morning January 26, 2015 of Nor'easter moving up the east coast of the U.S.
A man walks his dog in the snow on January 21, 2015 in Manassas, Virginia. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
A man plays with his dog in the snow on January 21, 2015 in Manassas, Virginia. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
A view of the Manassas National Battlefield park is seen on a snowy day on January 21, 2015 in Manassas, Virginia. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

However, changes are ahead as we start the new week for many cities, so don't pack away your coat just yet.

Colder Temperatures Coming

A cold front will begin to push south of the Canadian border on Monday. From there, it will slice through the East Coast and into parts of the South on St. Patrick's Day. Behind this cold front, temperatures will turn much cooler. That said, temperatures in the Midwest will only fall back to levels more typical of mid-March.

(MORE: Seven Unlucky St. Patrick's Day Cities)

Monday: Widespread above-average warmth continues in much of the Midwest and the South, expanding eastward into the Mid-Atlantic states. Cooler temperatures begin to ooze in just south of the Canadian border into northern Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana.

16 PHOTOS
Weather 3/16
See Gallery
Cold returns to the Midwest for St. Patrick's Day, chills the East later this week
Photo Credit: The Weather Channel
Photo Credit: The Weather Channel
Photo Credit: The Weather Channel
Photo Credit: The Weather Channel
Photo Credit: The Weather Channel
Photo Credit: The Weather Channel

A wide angle view of the trees and buildings is viewed around Bryant Park on March 12, 2015 in New York.

Photo Credit: AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY 

People eat lunch along the East River in lower Manhattan on a day when temperatures reached the upper 50's in New York on March 11, 2015 in New York City. After an unusually cold and snowy winter, New Yorkers are welcoming the recent spate of warm and sunny days. Spring officially begins on March 20th.

Photo Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Traffic moving on I-66 West during a snow storm on March 5, 2015 in Manassas, Virginia. A major winter storm slammed parts of the United States, as thousands of flights were canceled and government offices shut down in anticipation of more than half a foot of snow in Washington, DC.

Photo Credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

 A man struggles through the snow on March 5, 2015 in New York City. New York City and much of the Northeast is experiencing one of its most severe winters in recent history. Heavy snowfall, frigid temperatures and days of difficult commutes have lead to a citywide exhaustion with winter and a longing for spring.

Photo Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Ducks walk on the partially frozen Potomac River off Georgetown Waterfront Park on March 5, 2015 in Washington, DC. A major winter storm slammed parts of the United States Thursday, as thousands of flights were canceled and government offices shut down in anticipation of more than half a foot of snow in the nation's capital.

Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

A New York City Taxi drives up the FDR Drive alongside and ice filled East River in New York February 24, 2015. Heavy ice in the East River shut down commuter ferry service on Tuesday morning stopping travel between Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. 

Photo credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

NEDERLAND, CO - MARCH 15: Two young moose are seen in the woods along Ridge Road in Nederland, Colorado on March 15, 2014. The metro area could see record breaking warm temperatures today and tomorrow.

Photo Credit: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

People rest on recliners along the East River in lower Manhattan on a day when temperatures reached the upper 50's in New York on March 11, 2015 in New York City. After an unusually cold and snowy winter, New Yorkers are welcoming the recent spate of warm and sunny days. Spring officially begins on March 20th.

Photo Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Alejandro De Aza #12 of the Baltimore Orioles walks to the dugout prior to a spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field on March 15, 2015 in Bradenton, Florida.

Photo Credit:  Stacy Revere/Getty Images

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

St. Patrick's Day: Temperatures drop to near average across the Midwest, while the South stays mild. This will result in some impressive high-temperature drops from Monday into Tuesday:

Chicago: low-mid 70s on Monday; 40s on Tuesday
Des Moines, Iowa: low 80s on Monday; 50s on Tuesday
Detroit: upper 60s on Monday; 40s on Tuesday
St. Louis: upper 70s on Monday; 50s on Tuesday

Wednesday: Cooler air arrives in the Southeast. Temperatures will be well below average across the Northeast, with highs only in the 20s across much of New England and Upstate New York. The Great Lakes, Mississippi Valley and Ohio Valley remain near or slightly below average.

Colder Pattern to Continue in the East

The ongoing mild spell has resulted from a shift in the wind flow across North America. For much of the late winter, the air masses affecting the eastern half of the U.S. came from Siberia and areas north of the Arctic Circle – areas well refrigerated by a dearth of sunlight and widespread snow and/or ice cover.

As a result, temperatures in the eastern U.S. were mired well below average for weeks, and February was the second-coldest February since modern records began in 1895 for the Northeast.

(MORE: Record-Cold February for Some Cities)

Since last week, however, most of the U.S. has been under the influence of air masses that originate from either the Pacific Ocean – in some cases, the tropical Pacific – or the Gulf of Mexico. Naturally, this has combined with March's higher sun angle and longer days to bring a big warm up to much of the country.

According to The Weather Channel storm specialist Dr. Greg Postel, part of the reason for this pattern shift has been a large cluster of thunderstorms, including several tropical cyclones, thousands of miles away over the southwestern Pacific Ocean.

"The outflow from those thunderstorms ... is influencing the weather not just [there], but also over North America. So right now, that whole area of thunderstorms is in a spot that is trying to help us get fairly mild conditions in the Lower 48."

While the Midwest and Plains may see warmer-than-average conditions late this week and next weekend, the East Coast won't be so lucky.

The northern branch of the jet stream – that corridor of powerful winds some 30,000 feet above sea level – will snap back to an alignment that draws cold air from Hudson Bay and eastern Canada into the northeastern U.S.

You may have heard about the warm winter weather in Alaska this year – warm enough to force the Iditarod dog sled race to change its course. That has changed since last week, as temperatures in the minus 20s, minus 30s and even minus 40s have taken over much of the northern half of that state.

This is the air that will eventually be tapped and dragged into parts of the U.S. later in the week. Fortunately, it will lose some of its bitterness as it moves across warmer land masses and mingles with nearby air masses that aren't as extreme.

Exactly how cold it will get is still somewhat uncertain, depending on smaller fluctuations in the jet stream and their impact on where the coldest of the cold air ultimately moves. Still, the pattern favors below-average temperatures in the eastern states late in the week and into early next week, including the first day of astronomical spring on March 20.

(MORE: 10-Day Forecast)

Stay with The Weather Channel and weather.com as we continue to follow the transition from winter into spring.

MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Scenes from the First Day of Spring, 2013

More to see:
President: Cyclone devastation forcing Vanuatu to start anew
Preacher asking for crowd-funded private jet
Teen uses Bob Evans sign to ask girlfriend to prom

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.