'Marchuary' Continues in Northeast as New Cold Blast Moves Into Region

Brian Donegan
Published: March 22, 2017

"Marchuary" continues in the Northeast this week despite the calendar now saying spring, as a new blast of cold air is surging into the region behind an arctic cold front. For many cities, the average temperature in March so far is lower than what was seen in January and February – hence the term, "Marchuary."

(MORE: 5 Things to Know About Arctic Cold Fronts)

A southward dip in the jet stream, or upper-level trough of low pressure, is taking hold of the Northeast and Great Lakes region, allowing arctic air to spill south of the Canadian border.


Five-Day Forecast

Temperatures will be noticeably chillier Wednesday compared to Tuesday, with many areas seeing highs 20 degrees colder.

High temperatures will be 10 to 20 degrees below average, while lows will be up to 25 degrees colder than average from the Northeast into the Great Lakes.

Portions of the interior Northeast and northern New England will be stuck in the 20s for highs Wednesday and Thursday, and low temperatures will plunge into the single digits and teens. Wind chill values will be even colder as a stiff north to northwest breeze develops.

(MORE: Pattern Change This Week)


Forecast Morning Lows

Thursday morning will likely feature the coldest temperatures, and a few record lows may be challenged. This includes (current record in parentheses): Hartford, Connecticut (9 degrees), Binghamton, New York (9 degrees) and Scranton, Pennsylvania (9 degrees).

These cold temperatures will also allow the chance for some wintry precipitation. This includes a minor lake-effect snow threat in parts of western and central New York Wednesday morning, where most areas still have a deep snowpack from Winter Storm Stella. Accumulations are expected to be less than two inches in most spots, however.

(MAPS: 7-Day Rain/Snow Forecast)

The good news is this shot of cold air will be short-lived, and temperatures will return to average or above average Friday into Saturday. Parts of New England and New York may see cold air return Sunday, and there is the potential for some wintry weather, as well.

'Marchuary' – Colder Than January, February

February was record or near-record warm in a large swath of the southern and eastern U.S., so March has been quite a change in the Great Lakes and Northeast, especially.

Many Northeast cities are experiencing a colder average temperature this month through March 20 than the average temperatures they recorded in January and February.

(MORE: The Two Warmest Februaries on Earth Since 1880 Have Occurred the Past Two Years)

Average monthly temperatures and departures in January, February and March (through March 20).

Buffalo is coming off its warmest February on record with an average temperature of 34.8 degrees, which was 8.5 degrees above average. March is currently running 3.1 degrees below average with an average temperature of only 28.9 degrees.

On the other end of the Empire State, New York City also saw its warmest February on record with an average temperature of 41.6 degrees, which was 6.3 degrees above average. The average temperature in March so far is only 36.6 degrees, or 4.1 degrees below average.

In Pittsburgh, it was the third-warmest February on record with an average temperature of 40.6 degrees, a whopping 9.5 degrees above average. So far, March is running 3.6 degrees below average with an average temperature of 34 degrees, colder than this past January's average of 34.6 degrees, which was 6.2 degrees warmer than average.

(MORE: Late-Spring Outlook)

MORE: Winter Storm Stella


The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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