After a stormy weekend last weekend across the nation’s mid-section I blogged about how tornadoes form and why we don’t see them much across New England. Little did I realize over the next two days one of the stronger tornadoes to hit the United States would destroy much of Moore Oklahoma and that southern New England would have our own tornado warnings.
The weather has fluctuated greatly the past couple of days as cool ocean air and warm and humid tropical air has oscillated back and forth across the area. Portland was in the 40s last evening while is was in the 80s just a few hours to the south.
I often write about the power of the east wind and how if the wind shifts blowing towards the water to coming from the water temperatures can change dramatically. I have seen a heat wave broken in a matter of 30 minutes with people needing jackets after a temperature near 90F less than an hour earlier.
Today, as winds switch again, warm and humid air will flow north and east. The warm air won’t make it to the coast, but far inland areas might bump up to the 70s this afternoon. When I think about the chance for more showers and storms later today, I look to which areas will be warmest, have the most sun, and have something to lift that warm and humid air upward to produce storms. We all could see a few showers, but the best chance for thunderstorms will be in New Hampshire and southern New England.
Temperatures may actually move up during the night as the warm air continues to move into the region. There is still the risk for showers and scattered storms but I don’t see anything severe.
Thursday, the front that has caused much of the severe weather in the nation’s heartland will approach New England. While this front was the catalyst for much severe weather the past several days, I don’t expect the weather to be nearly that problematic in New England. However, there is a good chance for showers and thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon and we will certainly have to watch the radar very closely to see how the situation unfolds. The front is moving very slowly so the showers will be in the forecast through the end of the week.
On Friday the front will continue to move east. Since this front is moving so slowly, it will bring a few periods of showers throughout the day. Temperatures will be cool and the higher levels of humidity will drop.
Saturday doesn’t look good. A storm will move up the coast along the front and with cool air in place it is going to feel like early April or even late March. Showers will be numerous and some of the higher elevations could see a bit of snow mixing in with any rain. Yes, I did just write that. It will be in the 50s most of the day.
The weather looks good the rest of the weekend with a blend of clouds and sunshine, dry levels of humidity and very cool temperatures. While this won’t be a weekend to go swimming, it will be a perfect Memorial Day for all late spring outdoor activities. You will need a jacket if you are an early riser as many towns are going to see low temperatures in the upper 30s and lowers 40s while highs reach back to the 60s in the afternoon.
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.
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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