Fickle weather in early spring is part of living in Maine.  Meteorologists often talk about averages and normals, but it’s quite rare the amount of snow or the high temperature for a given day is average.

Spring generally leans cold or warm, and this year overall we are running mild. Last March the average temperature was over 5 degrees below the 30-year normal.  This March, we running over 6 degrees above the same 30-year average.  There’s been nearly a 12 degree swing between March 2015 and March 2016 more evidence of just how variable the third month of the year can be.

Rain Moves In Monday

This week we will start on the chilly side of the equation and there will be some rain.  The rain will begin during the first part of the morning Monday and then come to an end before sunset.  I am expecting about half an inch of rain although some areas with some heavier downpours may approach an inch.  Temperatures will be cool and it will feel raw all day. It’s not the kind of day you are going to want to be outside working.

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The rest of the week features a warming trend and you might be tempted to think true spring has arrived.  By Thursday afternoon it might be 60 degrees.  The record high for March in Portland is 88 degrees set on the final day of the month in 1998, another El Nino year.

There are two cold fronts in our future.  Front number one come through on Friday and will be followed by typical early April temperatures.  Highs on Saturday reach the 50s.  On Sunday a much stronger arctic front pushes through and the floodgates open up for a blast of cold air from the north.


More Cold Air Coming

This cold air mass has been well advertised by the models for two weeks and is still generally on target.  The 8-14 day outlook from NOAA clearly shows the odds of it being colder from April 3-9 are quite high.

A freeze in early April isn’t that unusual, but with the mild winter we just had and March averaging so warm some flower buds have opened up much sooner than normal.  Depending on the extent of the coming cold there could be some damage to these flower buds.  We won’t know the exact forecast low temperatures for another five days, but some early indications are it could be in the teens. The record lows for April 3-9 range from the teens to the single numbers.

T.S Elliot once wrote “April is the cruelest month”.  In his poem he was likely referring to depression and memory, but his words ring true for many hoping for an extended period of sunshine and warm weather.

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