Wednesday, March 12, 2014
The long holiday weekend is closing in fast and other than your plans, the weather this weekend is the most important thing. As I mentioned earlier in the week, the forecast was going to be a bit tricky heading into the weekend, however Maine is going to fare quite well.
Temperatures will fall to chilly, but not cold levels overnight as high pressure remains in control of the region. I expect lows to be near 40 at the coast to the mid-30s well inland. Last night temperatures were cold enough to end the growing season over inland areas. If you got away unscathed, consider yourself lucky. Since such a wide area of the state saw freezing temperatures last night, they won't issue a frost or freeze warning from this point forward, except along the coast.
A gentle flow of air from the ocean will prevent our temperature readings from going very high Thursday. All of us will stay in the 60s, well inland and to the north will just nudge 70, while places like Portland, Brunswick and Rockland hold in the mid-60s.
The big forecasting issue the next several days comes thanks to a blocking weather pattern. Blocking patterns are tough because the weather systems become stuck in place. While the systems are said to be stalled, there still can be small movements and changes in intensity of any storms caught in this pattern.
I have summarized the situation on the map below. This map is for Saturday morning, but applies to much of the weekend. Notice the storm is quite far to the south, this is great news for leaf peepers.
I am watching a storm off the coast of the Carolinas forecast to sit in place for the balance of the weekend and even into early next week. The models are in general agreement about the forecast, but small differences have a big impact.
The line of completely cloudy skies versus partly sunny will run through southern New England early in the weekend. Here in Maine, skies should remain partly to mostly sunny the entire holiday weekend. There may be some high clouds over York County, but in general, the weather looks very nice.
The further south you move this weekend, the less sunshine you will see. If you are going to New York or points along the mid-Atlantic for the weekend, expect clouds and showers with the best chance of a dry day to be Sunday.
Across the mountains of northern areas, the weather looks picture perfect with sunshine and mild temperatures in the 60s to lower 70s. It will be cooler along the Maine coast with a wind off the water, but with plenty of sunshine the foliage viewing will be amazing.
The map below shows the latest foliage report. I will update this map on Twitter and here as the new information comes out throughout the weekend and into next week.
If you want to discuss weather, climate or gardening or even education please find me on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.
Gardening this 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.