2023 has been one of the warmest years on record so far in much of the eastern United States. Several major U.S. cities including New York City, Philadelphia, and Newark are experiencing the warmest start to a year ever.

Here in Youngstown, the average temperature for 2023 has been 34.9°F which is nearly eight degrees above normal and ranks has the fifth warmest start of all time. A record was nearly broken last Thursday when the temperature reached 68°F just two degrees shy of the 70°F record set back in 1937.

More warm weather is on the way this week. Will we break any high temperature records? Let’s dive into the data.

High temperatures through Valentine’s Day, while not record breaking, will be 10 to 15 degrees above average with highs in the low 50s. The average high temperature for this time of year is in the upper 30s.

A strong storm system will form in the western United States early this week which will promote strong southerly flow into the Valley. The strong south wind that will bring the chance for record high temperatures to the area.

This storm system will result from a battle of airmasses with cold air in the western United States and warm air in the eastern United States.

Battle of cold and warm air masses forecast for the middle of this week.

Wednesday will be the best chance to break a high temperature record with partly cloudy skies and a strong southerly wind which will promote warm conditions throughout the Valley.

Currently, the high temperature forecast is 65°F on Wednesday which would tie the record high set back in 1954. There is also a chance of breaking a record high of 63°F on Thursday set back in 1990, but clouds and rain might keep temperatures cooler.

Average high temperatures, record high temperatures, and forecast high temperatures for Wednesday and Thursday.

I will continue to track the temperature trends in throughout the rest of the week in the Storm Team 27 weather center.

Why has this winter been so warm?

This winter has been mild with the exception of an extremely cold arctic airmass around the Christmas holiday due to a bomb cyclone.

The winter season is typically defined as being from December through February. This winter season has featured an average temperature of 33.8°F in Youngstown which is about 4.5 degrees above normal which ranks as the ninth warmest winter of all time.

The cause for the warm winter is relatively simple. A strong ridge of high pressure in the southeastern United States has kept warm air locked into the eastern United States while simultaneously allowing cold air to filter into the western United States.

This battle of air masses causes the track of low pressure systems to be more toward the central part of the country placing the Valley in southerly flow ahead of the system which promotes above average temperatures.

Graphic describing the weather pattern this winter.

The above average temperatures are forecast to last into the second half of February, so it will be interesting to see where February 2023 stacks up all-time by month’s end.