Saturday, March 8, 2014
Showers and storms rumbled through much of Maine yesterday and overnight. Those storms marked the leading edge of a tropical air mass remaining in place for many days to come. While there will be some heat you'll really notice lots of humidity. Yesterday, inland spots in York County hit 90F. Since most places will hit 90 or higher the next two or three days this latest round of sultry weather will mark an official heat wave for some interior spots.
I'll be updating the details of the July 4th forecast on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions, too.
I have thunderstorms in the forecast for nearly the entire week. To forecast thunderstorms, meteorologists look for something to lift the air off the ground high enough to build clouds and eventual showers. As temperatures climb this afternoon the air will become warm enough for storms to form. Some of these storms could contain very heavy rain and some dangerous lightning, but widespread severe weather isn’t likely.
This pattern of warm days and scattered storms is going to continue through the end of the week. The core of the heat will arrive tomorrow when temperatures will be about 2 degrees warmer than today. Even today a few spots will get close to record levels. The record high temperature for today in Portland is 93F and then 94F the next two days. While some areas west of the Jetport could hit 90F for a few hours today or tomorrow, I don’t expect any records to be broken.
While there are showers and thunderstorms in the forecast for the next several days, much of the time will be mostly sunny and the beach will be a good place to be. If storms do occur, most of them would begin after 2 or 3 p.m.
The winds at high levels are very weak this week. This means that any rainstorms will move slowly so areas seeing a storm could see localized street flooding as the storms sit over an area for up to an hour. In that short period of time, enough rain can fall to create some big puddles. There could also be some hail with a few of the storms, especially in the mountains and foothills.
For some of you, this weekend might mark the start of your vacation. I know that each day the weather matters a lot and a few hours of showers can make a big difference in plans. One of the aspects of the weather that looks very consistent the next week to 10 days is the humidity. While I don’t expect every day to have oppressive humidity, I do see humid conditions to be the rule.
As a flow of air continues from the south the levels of moisture in the air will remain high. Along with high levels of moisture comes the risk of these showers and storms. The challenge for forecasters will be to determine the timing of these minor interruptions in the nice weather.
If you are wondering when the air might dry out a bit and we can lose some of the humidity, you will likely have to wait until after the 4th of July. That saying about the humidity not the heat is really going to apply as we close out the month and begin part two of 2013.
Gardening this week: How are the plantings looking that you have against the foundation of your dwelling? Are they overgrown, too small or crowded? Check out this video in which I show you one foundation planting from start to finish. I added several important tips throughout the video.
I'll be updating the details of the July 4th forecast 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.