With Dry Warmth, Pollen Count to Skyrocket This Weekend in New England
May 05, 2023
After two weeks of repeating weather with lots of clouds and occasional showers, the weather pattern is ready to make a meaningful break. The key to this pattern change is the departure of the large, slow-moving, upper level storm that took all week to migrate east from the Great Lakes and over New England, now on this Friday in a position east of New England. The departure of the jet stream level disturbance means a change to the configuration of the wind both aloft and at the surface, with the persistent onshore wind that’s keep so much of Southern New England cool and moist over the last 24-36 hours shifting to blow from the north, then the northwest, later Friday into Saturday. By blowing over the land instead of the ocean, the new wind truly does deliver a new air which already has been clearing the sky in Northern New England and will continue to feed drier air south Friday afternoon for continued clearing from north to south as drizzle and showers break into isolated sprinkles, then eventually emerging sun boosts late day temperatures to near 60 degrees for some with only a few isolated showers cropping up in the late day and evening. The last to clear – and therefore the coolest of New England – will be Cape Cod, but even there we see some clearing by sunset and continued, gradual clearing Friday night. Saturday and Sunday will be mild and feel wonderful – especially compared to the weather of the last two weeks! Sunshine will mix with bubbling, puffy afternoon clouds that could produce a sprinkle but most of New England will be rain free with high temperatures around 70 degrees and a wonderful day for outdoor plans. The only downside to a beautiful spring day? Pollen! We’ve seen an elevated pollen count on many days already this season, but the allergy game changes this weekend into next week, as more kinds of tree pollen join the fray after being fairly subdued during the recent cool, cloudy stretch. The big offenders for many people that will emerge this weekend and stay with us the next couple of weeks are oak, ash and birch – pine is a bit slower and will follow in the next couple of weeks. So, chances are good if you have tree pollen allergies, you’ll feel worsening symptoms this weekend. Sunday will feel wonderful again with highs around 70, though the sky will look different – a veil of clouds will dim the sun and instead of being puffy, these clouds will be high in altitude, not producing any raindrops until thickening Sunday evening for a few possible passing showers overnight Sunday night. At this point we still think mild air sticks around Monday, but an approaching cold front will shift the wind Tuesday through midweek to blow off the ocean – not expected to be as dramatic of an effect as these last couple of weeks, but perhaps delivering a shower later Tuesday or Wednesday and certainly meaning cooler air for most, especially near the coast. By Wednesday, coastal high temperatures may not exceed the 50s, though inland will spend the week in the 60s and we all find rebounding temperatures by next weekend, when the chance of showers gradually rises later Saturday into Sunday, but it’s far too early to estimate timing.