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Relief from brutal cold is in sight

By Renee Duff • Jan 6, 2018 at 11:33 PM

After a brutally cold end to 2017 and start of 2018 in the northeastern United States, a milder weather pattern is on the way next week, according to AccuWeather.

"There are signs of at least a temporary pattern change next week," AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams said.

A storm pushing into California early next week will send mild Pacific air across the contiguous U.S., cutting off the direct discharge of arctic air from Canada.

It was still bone-chillingly cold Saturday night, with subzero temperatures in Norwalk. The overnight low was expected to be around minus 3, with wind chill values as low as minus 18.

Sunday will be warmer in Norwalk, with a high near 25. However, wind chill values will be as low as minus 20. And a south wind will blow at 11 to 18 mph.

During the transition period from harsh cold to air more typical of January, a bit of snow and ice could create slippery travel in parts of the region on Monday, when the high will be in the mid 30s.

In Norwalk, snow and freezing rain will fall between midnight and 5 a.m., then rain, snow and freezing rain after 5 a.m. Temperature will rise to around 32 by 4 a.m. There will be a southwest wind blowing at 15 to 18 mph. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

More snow is expected before 10 a.m., then snow showers between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., then a chance of snow after 1 p.m. High near 36. Southwest wind 13 to 16 mph. The low Monday night will be around 25.

As the wintry precipitation exits, the gates will be opened for milder air to expand toward the Atlantic Coast.

One or more days during the second half of the week could be the warmest in nearly a month from the Ohio Valley to the mid-Atlantic and New England.

During the first week of 2018, temperatures were 15 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit below normal from Indianapolis and Detroit to Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and Syracuse, New York.

Compared to the coldest days during the past week, temperatures will be around 20 to 30 degrees higher for most days and nights next week.

For example, New York City's highs in the teens this weekend will be replaced with 40s F by late next week. Syracuse will trade in single digits for 30s and perhaps even 40s.

The Southeastern states will also break out of their cold snap with 60s and 70s poised to make a comeback by late week.

The less brutal conditions will be a welcome relief for residents who have dealt with high heating bills, water main breaks, frozen pipes and car battery issues during the piercing cold spell.

Those eager to get outside for an extended period of time can do so without the heightened risk of frostbite.

Where the snowpack is deep, natural melting and freezing cycles could create slick spots on some roads and sidewalks late at night and in the early morning hours next week.

Given the gradual rise in temperatures throughout the week, a rapid snowmelt is not anticipated.

However, should an approaching storm late next week draw in enough moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, the combination of soaking rainfall and melting snow could raise the risk of localized flooding issues.

How quickly the next wave of cold air arrives will be dependent on whether the late-week storm speedily exits the East Coast or lingers for a few days.

Regardless, the next cold snap will not be nearly as harsh as the latest spell.

Here is the seven-day forecast for Norwalk:

Tonight - Mostly clear, with a low around -3. Wind chill values as low as -18. South wind 5 to 8 mph.

Sunday - Increasing clouds, with a high near 25. Wind chill values as low as -20. South wind 11 to 18 mph.

Sunday night - A chance of snow before midnight, then snow and freezing rain between midnight and 5 a.m., then rain, snow, and freezing rain after 5 a.m. Temperature rising to around 32 by 4 a.m. Southwest wind 15 to 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent. Little or no ice accumulation expected. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Monday - Snow before 10am, then snow showers between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., then a chance of snow after 1 p.m.. High near 36. Southwest wind 13 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Monday night - A slight chance of snow before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 25. West wind 7 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.

Tuesday - Mostly sunny, with a high near 32.

Tuesday night - Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24.

Wednesday - A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 43. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent.

Wednesday night - Mostly cloudy, with a low around 40.

Thursday - Showers likely, mainly after 4 p.m.. Cloudy, with a high near 52. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent.

Thursday night - Rain and snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a low around 32. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent.

Friday - A chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 37. Chance of precipitation is 50 percent.

Friday night - A chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. Chance of precipitation is 50 percent.

Saturday - A chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 24. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Renee Duff is a meteorologist for AccuWeather.com.

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