Friday March 29, 2013 | 05:52 AM
Posted by David Epstein

As we close out the month of March this weekend it will go down in the record books as a cold and snowy one.  On Sunday, it will be the lamb not the lion leading us into April.  You probably noticed a lot of clouds around the area the past couple of days and today will continue that trend.  A weak bit of energy will rotate through the area during the day and this will produce periods of clouds with just the risk of a shower.  Any rain that falls will be light and not last long.

The weekend is looking quite nice.  When you get up Saturday there may be a few clouds, but the trend will be for increasing amounts of sunshine during the afternoon and mild temperatures. Saturday and Sunday will likely end up being the two of the milder days of the month.  Here is a quick note about this weekend’s weather.  While last year was certainly a mild March, the last few days ended up being quite chilly.  Temperatures ran below normal as the month ended.  This year, while it’s been quite chilly for much of the month, milder air will bring us into April, although it won’t last. 

Sunday, we start off with plenty of sunshine, but as our next weather system approaches from the west clouds will increase, the precursor to a round of showers Sunday night.  If you are heading to sunrise services in the morning expect temperatures below freezing around 6:30 AM.  It will quickly warm to the lower 40s by 10 AM.  I expect afternoon temperatures to reach 50F across southern Maine.  Monday, will be unsettled and although colder air will be heading for the area, the day will end up quite warm.  It’s not out of the question that we could see a 55 degree reading in a few spots across York County in the afternoon.  There is a good chance for a few periods of showers Monday so keep the umbrella handy; at least there won’t be any slippery weather.

April is traditionally a showery month, April showers and all.  This year, we look to start off the month in relatively dry and cool fashion.  Take a look at the following map.  This map shows total precipitation that is forecast to fall through the 5th of April.  In the next week, most of New England is only expected to receive about a quarter inch of rain.  

This would be less rain than average.  While I won’t start beating the drought drum yet, we do need to be very cognizant of rainfall this spring.  Once plants start growing and the weather turns warmer, it only takes a week or so for top soil to dry out.  We want to have adequate rainfall this spring to get us through what is expected to be a very warm summer again.

Temperatures for the first week of April will average cool with a warming trend trying to set up for next weekend.  

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. I'll be updating gardening tips and weather information on Twitter at @growingwisdom please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

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About the Author

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.

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