Sunday May 12, 2013 | 09:57 AM
Posted by David Epstein

After an unsettled Saturday, our weather will turn more tranquil for today, Mother's Day.  While the second part of the weekend will be nicer than the first, it's not without some issues.

I'll be updating the forecast throughout the week on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

This morning a cold front will slowly be slipping east of Maine.  The problem for the next few hours is that showers and even a thunderstorm are possible until the front clears the area.  The good news is that the trend during the day will be for clearing skies and increasing amounts of sunshine. 
Sunshine will develop first over western areas of the state, while eastern sections are the last to clear.
On the weather map this morning, we see a cold front (blue line) to the west of the area.  This front needs to move east before we see a change in air mass and can totally remove the risk for showers and get some sunshine.
The radar loop is from early mid-morning and shows most of the heavy showers north of Portland.  However, there are scattered showers still occurring over parts of York and Cumberland counties. 
Monday and Tuesday
The growing season is officially beginning for many of you and this means that lots of plants have already been put in the garden.  Very chilly air for mid-May will arrive Monday and there is a good chance of temperatures in the lower 30s Tuesday morning.  Frost is a possibility and some warnings will no doubt be issued for parts of New England as we get a better handle on the exact extent of the cold air.
If your plants are in pots on a patio, on a deck or your front stoop, they will most likely be fine.  Your home will give off enough heat to prevent a widespread frost.  However, if you have a garden in a sheltered area you may want to plant to cover any early plantings of cold sensitive things.  Basil, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and other "warm weather" plants can be damaged by cold.
The good news is that our nights are very short this time of year on the order of less than 10 hours.  This doesn't leave much cooling time.  If this air mass came when the nights were 12 hours, I would be much more concerned for a full-scale freeze. 
After the early part of the week it looks like milder air will return to the area.  At the same time, the warmer temperatures make a comeback, as well as few rounds of showers for the second part of the week. 
The early indications are that next weekend will be seasonable with a blend of clouds and sunshine, but that is a long way off. 

Gardening this week Japanese maple trees are one of the best ornamental trees you can put in your yard. I have a total of about a dozen scattered everywhere from the front of the house to the back. Check out some of the best varieties in this week's video.

I'll be updating the forecast throughout the week 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, 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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