Saturday, April 19, 2014
It's already been an active day across much of Maine with several rounds of showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms have reached severe levels and lightning has been frequent as well. Power outages were a problem overnight and again this evening we could see more.
Basically, a front is stuck to our west and tropical unstable air is streaming northward on the eastern side of this boundary. Big thunderstorms require some key ingredients and many of those seem to be coming together. Temperatures have reached the 80s and with the atmosphere primed for storms, a severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for the areas in pink. This watch means that severe storms are possible from now and into much of the evening.
On balance skies will vacillate between sunshine and these storms for much of the rest of the day. If you are headed to the Patriots game tonight there is the risk for storms. It’s impossible to say if a thunderstorm will cross over Gillette stadium this evening; however, there is a high probability of at least some rain during the game. Rain isn’t an issue for a football game of course, but thunderstorms with lightning would be a problem. The radar map below is a prediction for where the showers will be around kickoff. Notice the red and orange colors; those are showers and storms in the area.
My next map shows the forecast winds at around 30,000 feet. Use the key on the bottom of the map and see the strongest winds are just to our west overnight This intense jet stream will help foster the upcoming storms. Thunderstorms love to form from the intense energy created by a strong jet stream.
Gabrielle is no longer an official tropical storm. However, the remnants of this system are not so far off the coast of New England. As the cold front marches east, it could pull some tropical moisture west and impact Cape Cod with heavy rain. This isn’t a strong possibility, but definitely something to watch late tonight. If this did happen, it would only enhance the rainfall over southeastern Massachusetts and not bring any wind.
Humidity levels will remain high into the night. During Friday morning you will notice a change in the air mass as moisture levels begin to decline. Temperatures will reach the 70s, some 20 degrees cooler than what we saw yesterday and more than ten cooler than today.
The weekend is looking quite stellar with sunshine and typical September readings of temperature. The mornings will be quite cool with 40s becoming more common on Sunday. Early next week the cool air remains entrenched with highs in the 60s and lower 70s, and morning lows well down into the 40s. It could be that yesterday’s high of 97F was the last time we will see those kind of temperatures until sometime late next spring or summer.
Gardening this week Not that long ago I was fortunate to take a trip to Ecuador. The country is very beautiful and known for a wonderful growing climate. In this video I show you some of my visit to a farm that grows roses for markets all over the world. 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.