Thursday, December 12, 2013
Another stellar day is underway across southern and central Maine with abundant sunshine as high pressure continues to hold tough. In general, the weather continues to be tranquil and dry into the weekend and to start next week.
I'll be updating the details of the forecast on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.
Thus far, the fall season has been fantastic, although we could certainly use some rain.
The reason for the find weather is that high pressure, (air that sinks and dries out) is still stuck in place over the region. The map below, from this morning, shows the current placement of the weather systems across the USA. The white represents clouds and where you see the map clearly, there are no clouds. Notice the absence of any real weather from Florida to Maine as high pressure keeps any significant cloudiness and rain out of the region.
October is typically one of our nicest months as the cold and stormy weather often associated with the second half of fall isn’t here yet. The jet stream, the river of air that moves blobs of cold and warm air across the planet is still stuck mainly in Canada and this allows the air to stay relatively mild for most of the month.
Highs fall from the middle and upper 60s early this month, back to the 50s by Halloween. While frost isn’t an everyday occurrence yet, it will become frequent by the close of the month. Foliage colors will continue to come on stronger and stronger before the colors reach peak in the next two weeks.
It really depends exactly where you are in the area as to when the color will be best. The dominant type of tree also has a lot to do with the color you will see out your window. The more sugar maples you have, the more reds and oranges you will see, my favorite.
There are some forecasting challenges in the next few days. On Thursday, a front will get stuck to our south and west and bring clouds and even a few showers to southern New England at night or Friday. Right now, it appears we will stay dry and sunny with mild air. Before that happens we have a very warm day for tomorrow. I would even venture to say it’s an October beach day, although it will be a bit breezy and I am expecting some rip tides if you decided to go into the chilly ocean. Water temperatures have now fallen back into the 50s.
A weak front will cross the region heading into the weekend and bring cooler, but not cold air back to Maine. Temperatures this weekend will run in the 60s as opposed to the 70s the next few days. Nights will run mild with no 30s in sight and therefore no killing frost or freeze on the horizon. This is great news for agricultural interest and for you if you still have your plants outside.
There are some signs that a shot of cold air may appear here just prior to the Columbus day weekend and could, I repeat could bring the first widespread frost of the year to the area. More on that next week.
Deer are an issue for gardeners any time of the year, but as we approach winter, they can become a particular problem. If you are a hunter, I know how you will say we should take care of the deer, but short of that, there are ways to keep them out of your yard. Check out this week's gardening video below.
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.