Sunday, December 8, 2013
If you remember last weekend it was quite mild. During Sunday several places reached 50F. Later that evening, the temperature fell below 32F. Since then we have been in the deep freeze. A week of temperatures at or below zero at night while certainly not unprecedented hasn't happened in several years. The cold weather has been difficult for those who need to be outside for work. The frost has gone deep into the ground and should make for a more traditional mud season ahead. There is some good news; many insects and other diseases that affect plants will be knocked back a bit after a cold period. While there is a warm-up for Tuesday and Wednesday the cold weather will return by the end of the week and I am expecting several more days of sub-freezing weather ahead.I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. I'll be updating the forecast on Twitter at @growingwisdom
Cold air is certainly locked in place. This is going to become an important factor Monday as milder air streams north. A process known as overrunning will ensue and this will produce a period snow. I am not expecting a big storm. However several inches of snow are likely sometime later Monday and Monday night. The commute home Monday would be the most likely period for road issues. I think that there will be several towns that have to call out the plows later Monday at least once. Next week, Tuesday and Wednesday will be the mildest days. Temperatures Wednesday afternoon will reach the 40s after being in the upper 30s Tuesday. Most of the ground will stay frozen although there will be some mud developing on the surface. The mild air will give those of you who have not taken down your Christmas lights to do that without freezing your hands. I even expect a few plain rain showers to be around the region for the middle of the week.
Thursday a cold front will push offshore and allow another blast of artic air to filter into Maine. I am not expecting this outbreak of cold air to be as severe as the one we had this week. As a matter of fact, I suspect when this winter is over, the past 7 days will end up as the coldest period of the winter season. Snow cover is not very deep across much of southern Maine. You can actually see a few spots of bare ground, especially along the coast. This begs the question when is our next major snowstorm? The answer is that for at least the next 7 days I don’t see any big snow in sight for the region. February is traditionally our snowiest month in southern Maine and what the next four weeks brings is still unknown. However, there are at least some signs
This week I am putting up a video on how to build the perfect container. While you might not be thinking of gardening this week, you can plant pansies in 8 weeks and if you have protective covering some vegetables can be planted in another 5 weeks. More on how I do that in upcoming blogs.
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.