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Weather Alert Issued as Severe Weather Approaches …

Forecast: Above-Normal Temps to Continue Next 10 Days

Temperatures in mid-70s are about 15-20 degrees higher than normal for March.

You can keep your winter jackets in the closet. Mother Nature's above-normal temperatures are expected to stick around Northern Virginia for at least another 10 days, according to The Weather Channel.

The area's high temperatures this week, in the mid-70s, are a full 15 to 20 degrees above the average of 56 degrees, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

In some previous years, Northern Virginia has seen snow in March. Last year, for one whole week, temperatures failed to get above 50 degrees, according to NWS archives. 

Everywhere you look there are signs of the warm weather, from top-down convertibles to golfers teeing up on the fairway, but spring doesn't officially get underway until 1:14 a.m. Tuesday, March 20.

The warmer weather is also affecting predictions across the Potomac at the National Cherry Blossom Festival, set to begin on Tuesday and continue through April 27. The famous pink and white-blossomed cherry trees are expected to start blooming Thursday, March 22. The average peak bloom time is April 4, according to the National Park Service.

With the warm weather, there are a few chances for thunderstorms this week, including Tuesday night, according to ABC7 Meteorologist Chris Naille. On Friday, there is a 40 percent chance of rain and/or thunderstorms during the day and evening.

"This is the kind of activity we associate with early summer," said Greg Schoor, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Sterling.

Northern Virginia isn't the only area experiencing a warm weather phenomenon.

"Large parts of the United States are right now experiencing one of the most spectacular March warm spells in modern times," said the Capital Weather Gang's Greg Postel on Tuesday. On Sunday, 188 record highs were tied or broken in the United States and 117 on Monday, he noted. Only two record lows were broken each day on Sunday and Monday.

Possible severe storms that might hit the Plains area, predicted for next week by weather forecasters, will not hit the Northern Virginia area, Schoor said.

Charles March 15, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Loving this weather!

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