Memorial Day weekend is typically seen as the gateway to summer when pools open up, many take their first trip to the beach and millions host outdoor gatherings to honor the lives and memories of members of the military.
The weather this year, unfortunately, won’t feel like summer across the Midwest and the East Coast. In fact, temperatures as chilly as 20 degrees below average will make it feel more like March than the end of May.
If the cold temperatures aren’t enough, rain — heavy at times — will be likely beginning Friday and lasting through Sunday. The wind will also be brisk, adding a rawness to the soggy weekend.
The cold air arrived Thursday giving Marquette, Michigan, its coldest May day in 75 years with a high of only 39 degrees.
By Friday morning, that same air was cold enough to produce some wet snow enough to dust the grass in central Wisconsin.
Highs Friday afternoon will struggle to get out of the 40s in the Midwest as overcast skies and showers arrive, and the wind kicks up across the Northeast. Some severe thunderstorms capable of damaging winds, hail and perhaps a tornado or two will even be possible farther south across the Mid-Atlantic, and especially Virginia.
The unsettled weather will continue across the East on Saturday and Sunday, when high temperatures in the 50s could set cold records for those days.
Where’s all the warmth? The West Coast.
The holiday weekend will feature above-average temperatures in the 80s along the West Coast and triple-digit temperatures across the Southwest and the Sacramento/San Joaquin valleys of California where an excessive heat watch is in effect.
The good news is that after a not-so-nice start for millions, Memorial Day itself could salvage the entire weekend. While the Northeast will stay cooler than average, the rain ends and skies should turn clear.
Monday will also be the hottest day of the long weekend for the West, so those with outdoor plans should make sure to drink plenty of water.
The Plains could experience some natural fireworks, however, with a chance for thunderstorms and heavy rain during the afternoon and evening hours.