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2/20/2013 - Accuweather: Six more weeks of winter on tap for Northeast

Harsh, wintry conditions are expected to remain through the start of spring.

With Punxsutawney Phil's failure to see his shadow, lovers of spring are rejoicing, as this traditionally signals a speedy arrival of warmer temperatures. But for Northeastern residents, weather forecasters beg to differ with the prognosticating groundhog.

According to Accuweather's Long-Range Forecasting Team, it could be another month to six weeks that cold temperatures are around for the New England area and parts of the Atlantic coast.

"I think we could still see some late-season winter storms [in the Northeast]," said Paul Pastelok lead forecaster at Accuweather.

He added that even though January may seem like the peak month for winter activity, for the Northeast, it's actually February and March that brings a considerable amount of winter-like effects such as ice, snow and bone-chilling temperatures.

On the positive side, Pastelok noted, it appears as though temperatures won't be significantly below normal for the Northeastern region. At the same time, though, the warmer temperatures that typified what the winter was like last year likely won't materialize until late-April or into the first part of May at the earliest.

As far as severe weather is concerned, Accuweather indicates that tornadoes and the like will largely be confined to the South, specifically Mississippi and the Tennessee valley region.

"I think it is going to be a more typical start. Late March into April we'll get going," said Pastelok.

Tornado season typically begins in the late-winter to early-spring and lasts throughout the summer season. There have already been reports of twister activity in Georgia and Tennessee, which led to widespread power outages and a fairly limited number of property insurance claims.

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