Punxsutawney Phil is going to look like a true savant this week when springlike weather envelopes the Midwest and the Northeast. An abundance of sunshine will help to deliver near-record high temperatures for the region.
Here is a look at who will get to enjoy this pleasant weather pattern in the coming days as well as how long you can expect it to last.
Broad Area of High Pressure Credited for Springlike Weather
The dry and mild conditions will stretch across a large zone of the U.S. from the northern Plains to the Atlantic Seaboard. A strong area of high pressure setting up over this part of the country will get credit for the unseasonable warmth.
This high pressure is made possible by a large northward bulge in the jet stream that has pushed the Arctic air well to the north.
It has already been a week of moderate temperatures for the north-central U.S. with readings that trended 10 to 20 degrees above the norm for the end of January and start of February. A number of new record highs were set in cities across the region, including Fargo, North Dakota and Lincoln, Nebraska.
For instance, Waterloo, Iowa saw the temperatures soar to 57 degrees, smashing the previous record of 48 degrees dating back to 1931.
One of the nation's traditional cold spots, International Falls, Minnesota, saw its first ever 50-degree day in the month of January on Wednesday when the temperature hit 53 degrees.