Weekend rain in Northeast to have added chill from sneaky ‘backdoor' front

Outdoor plans for many will be in jeopardy through the weekend as rain gathers in the Appalachians and slowly advances across the mid-Atlantic and New England, AccuWeather meteorologists say. Meanwhile, cool air will invade from the opposite direction and add to the damp conditions.

For many, May weekends are an opportunity to spend more time outdoors. However, in keeping in step with many weekends since the winter, wet weather has returned to the Northeast.

A front with cool air pushed westward to end the week, causing temperatures to tumble. In Philadelphia, for example, Thursday's record high temperature of 90 F was in stark contrast to the high of 69 on Friday. By Saturday, temperatures remained in the 50s with light rain.

This is the opposite direction from most cool fronts that advance, and for that reason, it is often referred to as a backdoor cool front. These sorts of fronts are most common in the Northeast during the spring, where chilly Atlantic waters enhance the effect. Later this weekend, a cool front around the Great Lakes will advance in the more typical direction -- from the west. The converging fronts are ultimately resulting in rain breaking out across the region.

While the rain will not be heavy enough to lead to small stream flooding, it can briefly be enough to lead to some ponding on streets and highways from the mid-Atlantic to New England as it progresses eastward through Sunday.

A breeze from the east and southeast will add to the chill and cause AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures to dip into the 40s and even the 30s in some extreme cases on Sunday along the coast and in the northern Appalachians.


Sunday will be the wettest of the two weekend days for Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. Showers will make for slick and sloppy conditions for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour on Sunday morning in the Big Apple. While Boston could experience a shower or two Sunday afternoon, the bulk of the rain will hold off until Sunday night in Beantown.

Rainfall will become more spotty in nature on Sunday over the central Appalachians and around the eastern Great Lakes, where the sun could pop out for a time and allow temperatures to recover. A few thunderstorms with locally damaging winds may rumble across eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania during the afternoon hours.

On Monday, a pocket of dry air associated with high pressure will move across the northern tier of the Northeast.

Looking ahead, AccuWeather is forecasting a significant tornado outbreak for the Central states, spanning Monday and Tuesday. Later this week, severe weather is likely to find its way to the Appalachians and East Coast, before an unusually cool pattern arrives for the middle of May.

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