Thursday, December 5, 2013
Solid lines are averages, red and blue areas represent the extremes of high and low temperatures in Portland, Maine. Notice that temperatures start to recover by the end of January.
After several days of deep cold our weather will undergo a bit of a moderating trend the next few days with a significant warming early next week. The core of the coldest air has now moved east and north of southern Maine and while temperatures will remain below freezing most of the time, we won't see any subzero readings for at least the next week. Our daily weather will be the result of weak frontal boundaries moving through the region through the weekend. At times, like later today and again Sunday there could be a few snow showers and to the north and in the mountains, some light accumulation is possible.
Fronts are the dividing line between air masses and when the air masses have huge differences we can see more weather with the passage of a front. During the next few days the fronts that will move through don't have a huge difference in temperature or moisture so any weather that occurs will be minor.
Next week as high pressure slips offshore, an even milder flow of air will begin. I am expecting temperatures Tuesday through Thursday to push well above freezing and get into the 40s by Wednesday or Thursday. This far out it is difficult to say just how far into the 40s we go but, whether it's an even 40 or 48, it's going to feel quite nice after many subfreezing days.
In terms of our next snow event, beyond a few flurries, I am looking towards the 16th of the month for some storm development. I review several long range models and each of them is indicating a return to a move active pattern for the second half of the month.
This time of year is a great time to start planning your garden for spring. You might think it's a long way off before you can get into the ground, but there plenty of things you can do as soon as the soil is workable. If we get a thaw you can even do some pruning this time of year. Sit down with some paper and make a list of what was good about your garden in 2012 and what you want to change. I try to grow one new vegetable in the garden each year. Last year it was tomatillos. Another thing you can do to make the winter pass a bit faster is get a plant or two that flowers. Below is a video that shows you some of my favorites.
David Epstein has been a meteorologist for more than 25 years. He spent 16 years in Boston and currently freelances at WGME13 in Portland.
In 2006, David founded GrowingWisdom.com, a business producing educational and marketing videos for the green industry. He currently is a professor at Framingham State College, teaches Jan Plan at Colby College and owns Bloomscapes Inc., a landscape design business.
David authored "Gardens Of New England" and his work has been published in Grolier's Science Annual for 10 years. He lives in South Natick, Mass., and has a summer home in Harpswell.