Donald Croteau works to clear nearly a foot of snow off his car on the first day of spring March 20 in North Woodstock, N.H. More cold and snow is in the forecast despite what the calendar says. / Jim Cole, AP
Could this be winter's last blast?
Although the calendar says spring, yet another plunge of Arctic air is forecast to invade the central and eastern USA over the weekend and into early next week.
Along with the cold, there is the potential for a big East Coast snowstorm next week, although its exact track and impact remain uncertain.
Numerous record lows are possible from the Plains to New England with this cold snap, according to Weather Channel meteorologist Michael Palmer. He said many areas will be 10-20 degrees below average this weekend and 10-30 degrees below average for the early part of the week.
Saturday, "much colder air will begin to filter south and east across the central and eastern U.S.," reports National Weather Service meteorologist Frank Pereira in an online report.
"Following a period of springlike temperatures earlier this week, below-normal temperatures will return to much of the northern and central Plains, as well as the upper Midwest by Saturday as another Arctic high settles out of Canada into the northern Plains," Pereira said.
Temperatures will be in the 20s, 30s and 40s in much of the Midwest on Saturday, the Weather Channel predicts. Incredibly for late March, a few subzero low temperatures are possible in northern Minnesota on Sunday morning, Weather Channel meteorologist Chris Dolce says. International Falls, Minn., could record its 80th subzero low temperature of the 2013-14 season.
The chill will reach the Northeast by Sunday, where highs in the 40s will be common.
Though little snow is forecast this weekend, a powerful storm could spread a swath of snow from the Carolinas to Maine on Tuesday into Wednesday, reports AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. Weather service meteorologist James Cisco warns that a "nor'easter bomb (is) indicated off the mid-Atlantic coast late Tuesday night."
A "bomb" is a ferocious storm that intensifies rapidly, often just off the East Coast.
Indeed, some computer models show the potential for blizzard conditions in eastern New England, Dolce says. High surf, beach erosion and coastal flooding are possible from the storm.
After the cold snap and potential snowstorm next week, long-range forecasts from the Climate Prediction Center show that, finally, near-average or even above-average temperatures are likely for most of the country by the end of the week and into next weekend, with the exception of the Upper Midwest.
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Read the original story: Calendar says spring, but winter refuses to go away