Sunday, April 20, 2014
It was a wild afternoon and evening for parts of the area with vivid lightning, hail, torrential rain and damaging winds. There was no major damage to report from the storms, but my dogs certainly were not thrilled. This morning we find areas of clouds, but also some sunny breaks. While the radar is not showing any precipitation around Maine now, there are two lines of showers back through New York. This area is associated with more atmospheric energy that crosses through later today.
I am keeping showers and perhaps a weak thunderstorm in the forecast for this afternoon,but I am not expecting anything as widespread as yesterday.
There are several things that are different in the atmosphere from yesterday so while some storms could become strong to our south, a widespread outbreak of severe weather isn’t likely. The best chance for any thunder will be over southern areas of Maine and points south.
When trying to forecast what type of storms will form during the afternoon we have to look at how the air will behave on its way skyward in building the storms. There isn’t much in weather that is a constant, but we can say that all storms have some lift associated with them. Lift is the mechanism to push the air up and build the storms. Sometimes the lift comes from a front, like today, when cold air is going to push warm air at the ground high into the atmosphere to form thunderstorms.
If the air starts turning on the way up, that can bring the potentials for tornadoes, not something I am expecting in today’s situation. If it’s very cold as the air gets lifted, the rain can get carried around and freeze and build hail. That was the situation some of you saw yesterday.
Once the system passes the area overnight, the lift will be gone and the chance of storms goes to zero. Our weather then takes a quite turn for the rest of the work week with sunshine and comfortable temperatures. As a matter of fact, several towns will see readings in the 40s for a couple of hours just prior to sunrise Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
The weekend is looking very nice with dry condtions and seasonable tempertures. There will be heat and humidty buidling to the south, but for now Maine will stay in the cooler air. As we get into next week there could be some temperatures in the 80s with some more moisture in the air. The sun is reaching its strongest point in the year for us this weekend, but the heat from it take about 4-6 weeks to really build. This is called seasonal lag. Although we have our longest day of the year this week, the hottest is usually around the third week in July.
Pollen levels have fallen again with the rain, but will climb towards the end of the week. There are grass and tree pollens in the air and the pine pollen is still covering things with a yellow film. Although the pine pollen is one of the most visible of the pollens it’s not one of the ones most people are allergic. Although it gets on everything, it’s large size makes it less likely to irritate your eyes and nose.
Gardening this week With all the rain this month your soil might be water logged. Raised beds are a great way to grow flowers, vegetables, even trees and shrubs when you have limited space or need to create a new growing area. In the following video watch how we create a raised bed for a suburban homeowner. You could do the same thing anywhere by just changing the scale to fit your needs.
I'll be updating the details of the showers on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.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.