Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Refreshingly dry air poured into Maine last night setting us up for a wonderful pair of days that will even try to last into Thursday. Temperatures will reach warm, but not be close to hot levels with highs in the upper 70s and lower 80s. A refreshing breeze will make it feel delightful to be outside.
The air became very humid yesterday ahead of a cold front which is now to our south and east. That humid air helped build some very intense thunderstorms with gusty winds and torrential rain in a few spots. Some areas to the south had an inch of rain in a short period of time creating more big puddles on the roads.
I ended up getting caught in a downpour during a storm and had to pull into a parking lot because it was so difficult to see the road through the rain. We now have two days to dry out before our next weather event.
The next couple of days look wonderful. There will be abundant, almost 100% sunshine and pleasantly warm temperatures. Humidity will be low and this will help the ground dry. The sun is a bit lower in the sky each afternoon and already we are seeing early May-like sun. Over the next several weeks you will continue to notice the sun getting lower and lower each afternoon. Look at the shadows around lunchtime during August, there is a huge change in how long they will appear. I will focus more on the changing light for next month in an upcoming blog.
After the big heat wave in the middle of the month I wrote about the fact I didn't think we would hit 90F for at least a couple of weeks, if not longer. The pattern that has unfolded since that heat is one that keeps the jet stream very active and close to our area. As I have written before, in many ways this pattern is closer in similarity to what we saw in February and early March as opposed to late June and July.
While southern New England and interior Maine saw more than one heat wave in July, Portland has yet to string together three 90F degree days and I suspect it won't happen at all this summer. The deeper into August we get, the less likely such an event becomes. While it was certainly hot during the middle of July, the average temperature in Maine's largest city will not even break the top 20 warmest this month. August begins Thursday and we won't know the final numbers until then, but what looked to be a very hot month early on in the game isn't ending that way.
Speaking of later this week, it does appear more showers and thunderstorms will be around for Thursday night and early Friday as a potent early August weather system gets pushed through the area on a very strong jet stream. There could be torrential rain and even some flooding issues on the roads once again.
The tropics is quiet right now, but we need to be very vigilant and watch how the hurricane season unfolds. Later in August through early October New England is often under the gun for tropical activity. A saturated ground is a recipe for disaster if any tropical activity threatens our area.
Gardening this week All this wet weather has made growing tomatoes somewhat challenging. There are many diseases that show up when the weather is cloudy and moist. If you are trying to grow tomatoes without chemicals it can be somewhat challenging. The video below shows you several different products to use when growing tomatoes or other crops, without chemicals. I'll be updating the details of the weather 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.