The cold air mass that has been sitting over the Northeast over the past couple of days will finally leave Thursday. The combination of sunshine and light winds will allow afternoon temperatures to rise to more seasonable levels.

Unfortunately, the improvement is not going to last. A storm tracking toward the Appalachians on Friday will spread clouds and rain back into the region.

Temperatures will likely drop back into the 40s during the day as the rain begins.

Story by AccuWeather.com senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.