Friday, December 6, 2013
It's a cold morning across much of Maine with temperatures in the single digits and teens in places from Waterville to Wells. While this is certainly cold, it's not out of the ordinary and by this afternoon many of these same spots will be in the upper 30s and lower 40s. This trend of milder afternoons, which started yesterday, will continue through the weekend.
Later today a weak front will pass the area. This front should produce a period of snow showers in the mountains yielding some very light accumulations overnight. Along the coastal plain, rain or snow showers might wet or coat the ground around midnight, but don't look for more than that.
Thursday is my pick of the next few days with abundant sunshine and temperatures in the 40 degree range inland and 30s in the mountains. Friday starts off sunny before clouds and some rain showers cross the region. These showers herald the arrival of even milder air, especially at the coast, for the weekend. While there will be a lot of clouds this weekend, temperatures will be above 40 for many of you and the melting will continue.
I'll be blogging about the weekend forecast on Twitter at @growingwisdom and about the cold air for next week.
While the air moving in to Maine this weekend is going to be very mild for January, it many not end up very mild in the foothills and mountains. The reason for this discrepency is in the difference between cold and warm air. Cold air is much heavier than warm air. This fact makes it tough to scour out cold air, especially in winter. The warm air tries to move north, but ends up being pushed up and over the cold air and snow cover at the ground. This is called overrunning and can create problems. Early next week, we could see a situation with cold air at the ground and very mild air up at cloud level. This can produce some periods of light freezing rain inland. The timing on this is still in question but something I will be watching.
Eventually, later next week, much colder air will push the mild air out to sea. At that point, temperatures will plummet and we will return to sub-zero mornings and highs in the afternoon well below freezing. While I am confident some very cold air is going to enter the lower 48 in the next 7 days, the exact path of that air is still in question. The models are seeming to have a hard time figuring out if the cold air arrives in one big push, or if we have multiple pushes of cold air entering the region. I tend to favor the latter solution with bouts of progressively colder air taking us into early February.
Gardening this week I have a new video to show you this week on moving a tree. You might think big deal, right? However, the tree that got moved was done so without hurting any roots. They used something called an air tool to blow the dirt away and then lift the tree to its new home. Check it out. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. Please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at GrowingWisdom.comTweet
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.