Recent cold spell could be the last of the season

It's been a warm start but cool back end to March.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The chill last weekend into early this week has been a bit of shock to many in Southeast Georgia and Northeast Florida.

Temperatures have been well below normal since a cold front worked through the region on Saturday.

A warming trend is ahead, with above average temps arriving by midweek.

But is more cold lurking, or are we beginning the full climb into spring and summer?

The recent chill

The cold has been surprising across the area because of how warm temps had been in early March.

At the Jacksonville International Airport, 10 of the first 12 days of March featured highs above average.

Eight of the first 12 days had highs above 80 degrees, with the airport nearing 90 degrees on March 7.

But then, things changed.

Cold air spilled in from the Midwest and Southeast, resulting in a swath of chilly conditions.

Six of the last seven days have featured below-average highs.

It's been a warm start but cool back end to March.

Temperatures bottomed out on March 20, with a high of 62 degrees and a morning low of 37 degrees.

The final round?

The recent chill has concerned gardeners and farmers that more cold is ahead.

But indications are actually the opposite -- warmth is ahead.

The jet stream will again push northward later in the week, bringing warmer air back into the region.

And this pattern looks to stay hold for a while.

The latest 6-10 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center shows well above average temperatures over the region through the end of March.

CPC 6-10 Day Temperature Outlook.

And the warmth looks to build heading into April.

The monthly outlook has temperatures above average for the entire month of April.

Long-range computer guidance also indicates no significant cold surges on the way over the next several weeks.

CPC April Outlook features warmer than normal temperatures.

While a chilly morning will remain possible over the next few weeks, a prolonged cold spell is becoming unlikely.

In fact, it is possible it won’t be this chilly again until late Fall.

So gardeners and farmers rejoice as this current cold spell will likely be the last of the season as we march toward summer.

About the Author:

David Heckard is The Weather Authority's Assistant Chief Meteorologist.