Sunday, March 9, 2014
Temperatures are now into the 40s across most of southern Maine and will be heading even higher. Dense fog is still an issue especially over some of the inland valleys. Our warm temperatures will even get warmer overnight as many spots will rise to near 50F! I expect much of the light snow cover along the coastal plane to be gone by morning. The other piece to our weather story is going to be very strong winds that arrive late tonight and the first part of tomorrow morning. These winds could cause scattered power outages, some downed tree limbs and wind holds in the ski areas to start Thursday.
The reason for the wind is that we have an enormous temperature contrast over the eastern half of the United States. The planet is always trying to achieve balance and the fact that such a huge difference in temperature exists ends up creating a big difference in air pressure. The air then tries to achieve balance and the wind is the result. The greater the differences in temperature and pressure the more wind we will see.
The cold and warm air clashing is also the reason for the January outbreak of tornadoes. Warm and moist air from the Gulf of Mexico is streaming north at the same time cold and dry air is headed south from Canada. The ingredients are coming together for this severe weather event. While I don't see any severe weather here, I would not be surprised to hear the rumble of thunder overnight.
Along with the wind there is an intense line of rain that has to move through the area tonight. I expect up to an inch of rain to fall with the line of showers as it pushes through late tonight and early in the morning. Even in the mountains the precipitation will be in liquid form. As the rain ends there could be a few snow showers, but no accumulation is expected.
Tomorrow temperatures will be warmest in the morning with the gusty wind and then tend to fall throughout the day. I expect us to fall below freezing after noon. However, since it will be so windy, a flash freeze isn't going to be an issue.
The end of the week and into the weekend will be colder with highs in the low 30s. There is the chance for flurries or snow showers Friday and again later Sunday but I don't see any big storms in sight. The cold air will hang tough, but not as cold as last week.
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.