Hold the hot chocolate. Don't pack away the shorts and short sleeves just yet. Warm air will continue to to build over much of the eastern half of the nation this week.

The pattern will bring August-like conditions in many locations.

"While the greatest temperature departures from average will be focused over the Central states, above-average warmth will reach the mid-Atlantic and New England during much of the second half of September," according to AccuWeather Lead Long Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

Temperatures from Washington, D.C., to Albany, New York, and Caribou, Maine, will average 5 to 10 degrees above average. Highs will be in the 80s over much of the Ohio Valley and the upper 70s to the lower 80s in much of the Northeast.

"Where the soil is wet, temperatures may underachieve by a few degrees during the day," Pastelok said.

Since the sun is not as strong and the nights are longer than during August, cool conditions may linger into the midday hours, especially where patchy fog forms the night before. However, temperatures will spike to August levels in many locations during the afternoons.

A hurdle for immediate coastal areas of the Northeast will be Jose's approach early this week.

Clouds could hold temperatures back to the 60s and lower 70s from Boston to New York City and Norfolk, Virginia, for several days as Jose lingers near the coast.

Stiff winds generated by Jose will create dangerous surf for those heading to the beaches.

"Away from the immediate effects of Jose, warmth will hold farther west," Pastelok said.

"A push of cool air from central Canada may have difficulty sweeping beyond the Great Lakes and northern New England during the fourth weekend of September."

Such a scenario would translate to a warm finish to the month on the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts, even if Jose holds temperature back for a few days this week.

The warm weather pattern will help to extend the growing season and promote favorable harvesting conditions. People who have not closed their backyard pools for the season may be able to take a dip.