Wednesday November 06, 2013 | 06:18 AM
Posted by David Epstein
Mild air will return to southern Maine the next couple of days with highs reaching back into the 50s this afternoon and near 60F for Thursday.  After the recent cold snap, the air will feel even milder. There is a good bet of a round of showers Thursday as a cold front crosses the region.

I'll be updating the forecast for the week on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

It's still early in November and cold and snow are not often part of the forecast. Indeed, this year while we have just experienced the coldest air of the season, I still don't see any prolonged cold or snow in the forecast.
Skiing isn't something many folks are doing yet and there is only one mountain open in that other state two over from here.   Sunday River had a day or two skiing back in October, but the lack of prolonged cold makes it impractical to make snow only to have it melt away.
What I see on the long-term horizon is a continued dry spell lasting at least the next 10 days.  In terms of cold, there are a couple of cold pushes from Canada through the middle of the month, but each cold wave is followed about 2 days later by warming.   This means while we will have cold days over the next couple of weeks, I see the warmth trying to take over each time, leading to a lack of prolonged cold.
Any Storms?
The jet stream configuration is also not showing signs of bearing any significant precipitation.  This has become a big enough issue to our south that much of coastal southern New England is now officially in a moderate drought.  You may think droughts aren't a factor in fall or winter, but indeed they are and if they last, can cause big issue next spring and summer.
One of the models I use to make my forecasts shows under an inch of precipitation through the end of the month.  Would that to occur, I think the drought area would expand northward and begin to include parts of southern Maine.
General Forecast
You will see some high clouds today, but on balance it's a nice day with milder air.  The high in Portland and surrounding areas will reach the 50s.  Overnight, with a southerly flow of wind and clouds temperatures will stay above freezing.   There could be a spot shower towards morning.
Thursday features a lot of clouds, but a few breaks of sunshine as well.  During the middle part of the day a few showers will cross the state. I am not expecting a washout of a day, nor am I expecting much in the way of rainfall.  The image below is a forecast radar (what the models think the radar will look like) for 1 PM Thursday.  Notice the areas of green are scattered rather than in one large blog of rain.  The exact placement of those rain showers won't be correct, but you get the general idea of the scattered nature of the rainfall.
Friday clears out and brings a return of sunshine, but brisk conditions.  It will be a Winnie the Pooh blustery sort of day, with highs only in the 40s.  There is a risk for a quick flurry in the mountains to start the morning.
The weekend brings sunshine and typical November temperatures for Saturday followed by some increase in clouds for Sunday as a weak front approaches.   A chance of showers returns along with those clouds, but the majority of the day is dry.  Highs over the weekend remain in the middle and upper 40s.

Gardening this week
For me fall is a time of year I tend to cook more.  My cooking also changes somewhat as the garden is not producing as much and there are different things available in the stores.  With the heat of summer gone, I can make more stews and sauces that need to cook longer without the far of heating up the kitchen.   This week, my video shows how to make an easy tomato sauce that is sure to impress.

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About the Author

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, 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.

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