Play brrr! A chilly start to the Cardinals season

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Data pix.

Play brrr!

Opening Day in the major leagues will be ushered in with a chill, but the accompanying wind may give batters a boost.

The first pitch of the season will be Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, where the Pirates host the St. Louis Cardinals.

The temperature is forecast to be in the mid-30s at the start of the game, with winds from the northwest at 15 mph. The home plate at PNC Park faces southeast, so batters stand to benefit, with winds possibly strong enough to give balls an extra push into the outfield.

Potential reward for fans who brave the cold? The possibility of more deep balls.

Nearly two weeks into spring, a large swath of the nation may experience a final gust of winter Sunday and Monday.

When the Washington Nationals held the annual Blossoms and Baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on Friday, temperatures reached the low 80s. The exhibition is part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival -- billed as the "nation's greatest springtime celebration."

But a surge of cold air across the East trails this brief taste of spring.

Most of Massachusetts will be under wind advisories Sunday, with strong to damaging winds near hurricane force possible, according to the National Weather Service.

Snow, and even thunder snow, is likely, with accumulations of 1 to 3 inches away from the state's coastal plains, the agency reported.

The turnaround comes days after temperatures in Boston hit the 60s. On Friday, the city saw a high of 69. The high was forecast to be 38 on Sunday.

Much of the New York metro area will be under wind warnings through the weekend.

And gusts could exceed 60 mph through Sunday evening in some parts of the region. Temperatures will be 10 to 20 degrees below average in parts of the Northeast.

On Monday, when the Cleveland Indians host the Boston Red Sox, the high will be 42, with a mix of rain and snow showers likely, the weather service said.

And the New York Yankees face the Houston Astros on Monday afternoon in the Bronx, with rain and snow looming.

By Ray Sanchez

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