I hope you enjoyed the wonderful March weather this weekend. You might have noticed your car was quite warm inside if you parked in the sun this weekend. The sun drives the weather and the sun is getting stronger this time of the year, really fast. Since the beginning of the month, the sun has risen about 10 degrees higher at noon. To put that in context, the sun is now a full 25 degrees higher around lunch than it was back in December. If you don’t remember your geometry, a sun directly overhead at noon would be at 90 degrees, today the sun will reach close to 50 degrees above the horizon. (Due to daylight saving time it’s actually 1 PM). Besides the fact this is why it is getting warmer, it’s also why any snow that falls during the day this time of year is almost impossible to stick.
There is another storm passing to our south this morning, and the good news is so too is the bulk of the precipitation. Since February it seemed like we can’t catch a break in the weather, but this week is going to break that trend. First, we have our snowstorm that misses us. Do I hear a collective cheer? While the track of the low pressure area is too far south to give us a storm, it will push a few clouds across the sky, but the steadier snow and rain falls towards New York City and Washington DC.
Temperatures this afternoon with the sunshine will reach back into the lower and middle 40s so more melting takes place. The snowpack is still very deep across interior Maine and the best thing that can happen to minimize flooding is a slow melt. The map below shows the water equivalent to the snow that is on the ground. Areas in western Maine have over 10 inches of water locked up in that snow. A rapid loss of the snow would cause big river issues. This has to be watched carefully in the next few weeks.
We have one storm this morning moving out of the Ohio Valley region and eventually transferring its energy to a new storm off the coast. In the past two months storms in this position have often moved northward and clobbered us with snow and wind. However, there is a big blocking weather system to our north and this block is strong enough to force the coastal storm safely out to sea. The biggest effect from the storm will be a few added clouds today.
Tonight marks the start of Passover for those of us in the Jewish faith. I don’t expect any travel issues if you are headed to friends or family for your Seder. Passover has a lot of symbolic foods including many greens that represent spring. This weekend you might have said it smells like spring. As the ground continues to warm, microbial activity combined with the increase in plant growth releases some wonderful scents that we associate with the arrival of spring. The air truly does have totally different aura about it this time of year.
The rest of the week looks quite nice with a blend of clouds and sunshine. At times the sky will be nearly clear with bright, warm March sunshine only to see clouds fill back in again. When the sun is out it will feel quite comfortable, but when the clouds come back, there will be a chill to the air.
Easter Weekend looks dry and actually quite typical for late March with sunshine and a few clouds and highs making it towards 50F. Hopefully, a slow melt to the snow this week will give you back some of your lawn for an Easter egg hunt this weekend.
I'll be updating my weather forecast for this week on Twitter at @growingwisdom please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.
Gardening this week
I have part of my garden under protective greenhouse plastic so I was able to plant my peas Sunday. Even if you don't have a hoop house or cold frame, I think you will be able to do some work around the yard this week and certainly by the weekend.
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.
Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion.
Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can.
Technical problems?Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
type of computer or mobile device your are using
exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)