Tuesday, December 10, 2013
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.
A bit of light snow shower activity crossed the area this morning, but this isn't related to the main storm we have on tap for tonight and much of Wednesday. I often update changes in the forecast on my twitter account @growingwisdom, so be sure to follow me there.
It’s been a very dry fall and you have to go back to June to find a period with a widespread rainstorm similar to what we have upcoming tonight. Because the air is still quite cold, there is a winter weather advisory up for inland and especially the mountains.
Before I get to the details of the forecast, let me talk about the traffic for a minute. Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday evening has become one of the busiest days to leave the area now riviling Wednesday. Keep that in mind when making plans. Wednesday morning is usually a very light traffic day, with the bulk of the cars hitting the road after noon. The traffic also tends to die off a bit earlier Wednesday evening than you might expect.
Now let's put the upcoming storm on top of what we know about the traffic. I don't expect any precipitation for the entire daylight hours. Take a look at the map below. This is a projected radar for 8PM. At that time rain will have broken out across much of Connecticut and down through New York City.
What a cold and blustery day it has been. In case this is your first winter in Maine, it’s not quite normal to have it this cold this early. Although there are not any records being set around these parts, it’s going to be a very cold night ahead with wind chill readings below zero at times. When you awake tomorrow morning temperatures will range from the lower teens right at the water to near zero well inland up across the mountains.
You can get a sense of how strong the cold is by looking at temperatures across the country. The cold air has penetrated into Dallas, Texas and the panhandle of Florida. This is more typical of late December. Here in southern Maine, the high temperature today was reached at 12:01 this morning as no town surpassed the readings from back at midnight. The air is also exceedingly dry. When you get air coming in from the arctic regions it contains no moisture. As you bring that air inside your home and warm it up, you drop the relative humidity to under 10%.
A cold batch of rain showers arrived this morning and while not very heavy, they will be with us on and off much of the day.
The first round of showers comes from a warm front in the morning while the second batch of showers results from a cold front. All the showers should be just before the commute home, as roads remain wet much of the day.
Across southern New Hampshire and parts of interior Maine this morning the showers fell as sleet and a bit of freezing rain. A winter weather advisory was posted to make folks aware some roads were a bit icy.
November 2013 has been a rollercoaster month of temperature with 11 days coming in below the average, 8 above and one spot on the normal mark. Monthly temperatures are often made of wild swings and this can be particularly true in those months that lead us into winter or summer.
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.
This year, winter temperatures are setting in early and the cold is going to become deeper later this weekend and early next week. Before the arctic air arrives we have two days of more typical late November weather.
Today features a lot of sunshine. During the afternoon the highs will reach the lower to middle 40s. It will feel quite pleasant outside and a good day to get some of those chores done we all do before the snow comes. If you are at work, it will be a nice day to walk during lunch or perhaps even sit outside depending on how tolerant you are of readings in the 40s.
"Rainy days and Monday's always get me down" according to the late great Karen Carpenter, but the sound of rain pelting against the roof is a sound I love. (did I just admit I like the Carpenters?) What makes it an even better sound today is the rain is quite welcome. It won't be enough to get the ground very wet, but I'll take it.
You might have noticed your heat didn't kick on as often this morning. Temperatures rose into the 50s and even lower 60s in spots during the night and it feels like a spring morning. Don't get use to this, we have been a bit spoiled since Friday, but the colder air is coming.
Our last cold snap lasted about 2 days. Last Wednesday, temperatures didn't make it out of the 30s. I expect that Wednesday will remain our coldest day of the fall for this week, but we won't see anymore 50s or 60s.
A cold front is slicing through the area this morning. The front marks the leading edge of colder air. Sometimes when a front passes, it takes many hours for the cold air to become entrenched. This will be the case today. After the front passes, it will remain mild for one last day of mild air. Temperatures will remain in the upper 50s to near 60F for much of the day before falling back late this afternoon. This picture shows temperatures around the country early this morning. Much of the cold air is still back in the Dakotas.