Tuesday, March 11, 2014
A significant spring storm will impact the area through the day and into the overnight. The reason the storm is noteworthy will be due to the cold and wet weather it will bring to the area. Colder air continues to drain south this morning. I am not expecting much, if any, frozen precipitation along the coast, but inland and to the north are a different story.
This isn’t going to be a blockbuster storm, but there will be enough snow in some areas to cause wintry road conditions and the need to plow and shovel. The reason for the upcoming storm is a very strong temperature contrast that exists across much of the United States. Here in Maine, Caribou is in the teens this morning while it is near 40F across southern New England.
A storm will ride along this temperature boundary today and bring a round of wintry precipitation to the area. I think all areas, even the coast, will see some snow or sleet, especially this morning. Temperatures are above freezing at the ground, but the air above us is quite cold and as the rain falls it will drag some of that colder air down to the ground.
I'll be updating the latest information about this storm on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.
Across the mountains a plowable snowstorm is likely. I expect some areas to get 6 inches of snow. Where the snow is heavy, and contains more water, tree limbs may break under the weight of the snow. The snow will certainly extend the ski season by a few more days in what has been an incredible year for winter sports enthusiasts. If you make your living outside and you are able to make today a paperwork day, it’s probably a good idea. If you have to be outside, it’s going to be a cold, wet, miserable day, so get the warm weather gear ready.
One area of precipitation is moving through this morning. I expect the heavier rain and snow to begin after 10 a.m. as the main part of the storm occurs this afternoon and overnight.
If you are adventurous, this will also be a good morning to put down lime and spring fertilizer on your lawn. I highly recommend using fertilizer products that are organic. Even better, if you can find a product with natural bacteria to help increase the quality of your soil, buy it. I have been known to run around my yard in the rain using one of those spreaders. My neighbors must laugh at that scene.
The weekend is looking much better. When you get up Saturday morning there could be a leftover rain or snow shower with plenty of clouds. During the morning skies will begin to clear and by afternoon sunshine will be more abundant and temperatures will respond to the strong April sunshine. During mid-April the sun is very similar in strength to what you would experience in August. This means you can get easily get sunburned so be sure to bring the sunscreen.
Early next week will continue with seasonable temperatures and mainly dry weather. Later in the week, there could be another round of rain as a new storm forms and heads for New England.
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.
Gardening this week Many of you have ornamental grasses in your yard. These grasses are quite beautiful in the summer and fall, but look horrible this time of the year. There are a few things you can do right now to help get those grasses looking good early in the season.Tweet
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.