By
OurAmazingPlanet
updated 3/14/2012 10:26:15 AM ET 2012-03-14T14:26:15

A weather pattern more typical of May is sweeping across the central United States this week, according to the National Weather Service, keeping the temperature unusually high.

Above-average temperatures for March have welcomed the country east of the Rocky Mountains into an early spring. These temperatures are due to a large subtropical high-pressure system lingering above the western Atlantic, the NWS explains. The pressure system is blocking any cold air from blowing down from Canada. As a result, unseasonably warm weather is forecast for many cities throughout the week. (West of the Rockies, the weather is not so nice.)

Across much of the country, cities have been flirting with record high temperatures — as much as 30 degrees Fahrenheit (16.6 degrees Celsius) above average, according to the Weather Channel. Several cities in the Northeast set or tied records yesterday (March 12). On Monday, Boston reached the low 70s (low 20s C), beating its previous high of 69 F (20.5 C) for that day of the year. New York City hit 71 F (21.6 C), tying an 1890 record.

Tomorrow could see more of the same, but this time in the South and Midwest. Temperatures are forecast in the 70s for the Midwest and Upper Great Lakes. The South should see temperatures in the 80s (high 20s C). Nearly 50 cities are expected to approach record  temperatures for the day, according to the Weather Channel.

Out West, however, a different, less sunny story is under way. A strong storm system is brewing over the Pacific Northwest and Northern California today. The storm is bringing strong winds and heavy precipitation to the region through Thursday. Seattle, not normally a winter wonderland, could see a few inches of snow. The biggest snowfalls are expected in Northern California, where up to 3 feet (0.9 meters) of snow is forecast for the higher elevations of the Sierra Mountains. The weather is due to a deep upper-level trough moving through the region.

You can follow OurAmazingPlanet staff writer Brett Israel on Twitter:  @btisrael. Follow OurAmazingPlanet for the latest in Earth science and exploration news on Twitter  @OAPlanet  and on  Facebook.

© 2012 OurAmazingPlanet. All rights reserved. More from OurAmazingPlanet.

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