Wednesday May 15, 2013 | 07:22 AM
Posted by David Epstein

It’s another morning where several towns across interior southern Maine saw temperature readings in the 20s. I believe we have arrived at a point where most of us are now done with frost.

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.

As I look at the longer range forecasts it does appear that the past two mornings will end up being the last of the frosty mornings until the fall.  Of course I could always be incorrect about this, but both the time of year and the current pattern favor a safe start to the growing season from here on out.
This means that it is safe to put out your tender plants and not worry about a freeze.  The exceptions to this are far northern areas of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine as well as some of the deeper valleys and higher elevations where it can be as much as 5 to 10 degrees cooler.
 
The weather pattern for the next week is looking quite nice and even warm for tomorrow.  I expect temperatures in the 70s to be common for Thursday.  It appears that the third week of May will generally end up being a great one.
 
We do have some showers on the way for later this afternoon and overnight as a couple of fronts crisscross the area.  The fronts will help to bring moisture to the area and a tenth to a quarter inch of rain is possible over the next 12 to 18 hours.  Although we did get some rain a few days ago, we are still quite dry and any rain is welcome. 
 
Thursday will be a great day as sunshine and warm temperatures prevail.  This will end up being one of the warmer days of the next 5 or so with highs exceeding 70°F.  A cooler air mass will arrive for Friday, when highs will remain in the 60s. 
 
The weekend is looking nice, but not perfect.  There will be a front close to the area later Saturday and Sunday.  While this front will not provide much, if any rain, clouds may be an issue over part of the weekend, likely Sunday.  With the added cloud cover temperatures will be a bit cooler staying in the 60s. The good news is that the weekend will be rain free as there are many graduations this weekend as well as weddings or just simple baseball games.
 
To our south in places like Texas there is already summer heat building.  Temperatures well into the 90s are common and some humidity is starting to make itself felt.  This heat is going to try to move northward next week, but the northern extent of its reach is in question.  This time of year summer heat and humidity can move into southern New England very quickly and early heat waves are not impossible there.  It is much tougher to reach 90°F here in Maine during May.  We have hit 90°F 15 times since 1940 in Portland.  The last time Portland reached 90°F in May was May 26th 2010 when the mercury reached 91°F
 

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 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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