Daily Weather Discussion

Sticky Saturday versus Sensational Sunday Air

FRONTS_D1Early morning showers and thunder heralded the arrival of sticky air that will remain in New England until the passage of a cold front Saturday afternoon.  For the time-being, clouds are stubborn Friday morning and midday, and won’t give way to sun in far Southern New England today…though communities farther north will find sun burning through the clouds to bump temperatures into the 80s for a warm and sticky Friday afternoon.  The chance of thunder rises not so much Friday afternoon, but rather Friday evening into the first part of the night as a disturbance aloft moves through the New England sky.  Fed by the humidity, these storms may actually take the unusual trend of continuing to expand and strengthen a bit even after sunset, eventually settling onto Cape Cod as rain that will last into early Saturday morning on Cape, while the rest of New England finds partial clearing particularly after midnight and some areas of fog.  Saturday likely sees sunshine burning through the fog patches for another sticky and warm day – but change will be on the map in New England and moving south in the form of a well defined cold front that marks a wind shift and the start of new air.  Along the wind shift – the front edge to the new air – we’ll see some showers in the far North Country of New England Saturday morning, sinking south through Northern New England during the morning and reaching the Maine coast by 2 PM…while Southern New England sees showers and embedded thunder with about 50% coverage moving from Manchester, NH, around noon to Cape Cod by 4 PM or so.  Behind the cold front, a new, northerly wind will send the dewpoint temperature – the measure of the amount of moisture in the air – tumbling, and comfortable air will take over on a steady breeze Saturday evening for a comfortable night of sleeping Saturday night.  The new air will be dry by nature, affording Sunday sunshine mixed with puffy, fair-weather cumulus clouds – a few of which may build just tall enough to drop a few isolated sprinkles Sunday afternoon, but nothing too impressive is expected.  The comfortable air lingers through the start of next week, eventually giving way to returning warmth and humidity by week’s end with a building chance of showers and thunder toward the end of our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.

Summer Heat Without Deep Humidity...Then Humid Air Returns

FRONTS_D1Mid-summer warmth without deep humidity is the weather highlight today – somewhat of a rarity in New England to have such comfortable humidity levels with high temperatures 85 to 90 in the southern half of the region.  With relatively dry air, no thunderstorms are in the Thursday forecast and even a sea breeze won’t develop until late in the day and only in select coastal communities.  Deeper humidity moves into New England late Thursday night, meaning after a partly cloudy start to the night, scattered showers and even embedded thunder are possible in the predawn hours Friday morning, continuing to float around Central and Southern New England into the morning hours before sunshine breaks through by late morning and midday.  The combination of warm air and emerging sun will push temperatures into the 80s again Friday, but with increased humidity the thick air will make for a very different feeling from the comfort of Thursday.  Humidity, warmth and, at times, a chance of storms will continue into Saturday with disturbances raising the chance of isolated inland storms late Friday, scattered thunder Friday night and perhaps some final scattered showers or embedded thunder Saturday between mid-morning and early afternoon from northwest to southeast, respectively, as a cold front presses through.  The passage of the cold front will mean a shift in the wind and a change in the air by Saturday evening, with much less humid and more comfortable air arriving for a much cooler Sunday of pleasant air with a low chance that puffy, fair weather cumulus clouds could yield an afternoon shower here and there with an onshore wind at the beaches.  Comfortable air starts next week, also locking in dry weather, until warmth, humidity and a chance for scattered showers and thunder rises again for the second half of the week, but perhaps departing in time for next weekend in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.

Limited Sun Ahead of Summer Warmth

SEVERE_OUTLOOK_D1Although Wednesday brings times of sunshine, clouds win the battle of the sky, overall, with a series of disturbances dropping from northwest to southeast over the sky of New England.  Stronger thunderstorms will develop through New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey today and may graze southwest Connecticut during the afternoon, but for the vast majority of New England we’ll find more clouds than sun, sprinkles and light showers on occasion with the middle of the day to early afternoon likely to bring the best weather with the most breaks of sun, driest time regionwide and temperatures rising to 80 degrees.  At times when the clouds dominate, bugs like mosquitoes will take advantage of the window of opportunity, so having bug spray on hand is a good idea.  Skies clear Wednesday night for plenty of sunshine Thursday, working to boost daytime high temperatures into the middle 80s and even 75 to 80 degrees on Cape Cod – warm by Cape standards!  Humidity won’t be overbearing but will be noticeable Thursday…increasing Thursday night and Friday as a southwest wind locks in a summer airmass that will drive temperatures to either side of 90 Friday.  While a late day or evening thunderstorm is possible Friday – particularly over deep interior Southern New England – storms don’t appear to be a widespread issue for Friday.  Humidity continues building into Saturday when the approach of a cold front and associated upper level atmospheric disturbance drives up the likelihood of showers and thunderstorms, particularly during the warmest time of the day in the afternoon as high temperatures top off in the 80s.  New air arrives Sunday with less humid, cooler air, but still energy aloft keeping at least the low chance some fair weather clouds may bubble just enough for a scattered afternoon shower or two.  Next week starts quiet and comfortable ahead of a return of warmer, more humid air with a return of elevated thunderstorm chance toward the end of next week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.

Clouds Increase...Raindrops Remain Limited

LKN_LIFESTYLE_HIKINGClouds increasing across New England Tuesday won’t deliver sprinkles for most communities until late afternoon or early evening, as dry air undercuts the clouds for several hours of the day.  Temperatures will climb to around or above 70 degrees inland, while a sea breeze holds temperatures in the 60s at the coast, but that’s still a noteworthy rebound from early morning lows in the 40s.  Tuesday evening sprinkles come as a series of energetic disturbances aloft, at the jet stream level, dive southeast from Canada and over New England and will continue Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.  At the surface, the wind direction becomes southwest, starting a bleed of warmer and more humid air that will ensure, even with a mostly cloudy start Wednesday and some limited sun by afternoon, high temperatures can reach 80 degrees at least in Southern New England with a tangible change to the feeling of the air as humidity increases by Wednesday afternoon.  As the front edge of drier air arrives Wednesday night, a few showers are possible before humidity drops Thursday but that won’t stop a temperature rise into the middle 80s by Thursday afternoon.  Friday is the day that likely combines both warmth and humidity with high temperatures in the middle to upper 80s and a chance of thunder by evening and night.  There’s some question about just how quickly a cold front marches south across New England Saturday, but at this juncture our First Alert Weather Team believes the front will likely be slow enough to not only keep humid air and warmth in place for at least Central and Southern New England Saturday, but also to deliver some scattered showers and thunderstorms as the cold front sags south over the course of the day.  By Sunday, we expect drier, cooler and comfortable air to be in place and lead us into a fair and pleasant start to next week, ahead of temperatures returning to the 80s by the end of next week and the end of the exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.

After a Dark Night in Boston, Nature Provides Light...and a Decent Week Ahead

LKN_CURRENT_BOSTONA much-needed brilliant sunrise provided a pillar of light to Downtown Boston Monday morning as the City and New England, at large, readies for a cool day with a blend of sunshine and building, puffy cumulus clouds, coming off a frosty start in Northern New England overnight Sunday night.  Though often fair weather clouds, cumulus clouds can occasionally build high enough to yield some showers and today is expected to be one of those days, with a few widely scattered showers across New England from midday onward through the afternoon, departing off Cape Cod early this evening and giving way to clearing overnight, though low temperatures won’t be cold enough for frost except in some valleys of Northern New England.  Sunshine will likely be at a premium Tuesday, giving way to increasing clouds that will deliver some scattered showers to Vermont later in the morning and into Northern New Hampshire by midday, eventually producing scattered showers by afternoon in most of Northern New England and an ending of variable clouds in Southern New England, though a turn of the wind to blow from the southwest will bump temperatures into the 70s for many and a comparatively milder night in the 50s Tuesday night.  Variable clouds with a few showers focused especially in Northern New England is the expectation again Wednesday as milder air continues to nudge into New England with highs pushing 80 for some and an increasing chance of showers by evening and night.  Thursday and Friday bring a return to summer warmth as high temperatures climb into the 80s with humidity building Friday to increase the chance of showers and thunderstorms later in the day.  Those showers may linger for some to early Saturday morning, but a trend to a dry and pleasant weekend is expected, with highs likely in the 80s Saturday and 70s Sunday as a drier and pleasant stretch settles in for the start of next week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.

Warmth Rebounds After One of the Coolest Memorial Days in the Last Half Century

LKN_BOARD_STATS_1COLUMN_BOSDMA_2 (1) LKN_BOARD_STATS_1COLUMN_BOSDMA_2 (1)Summer warmth is expanding across New England on Tuesday, but the cold ocean water has set up a battle that, at times, is evident in the sky in Eastern New England.  Tuesday morning dawned with lots of clouds in New England, but also dense pockets of fog in Eastern New England, where cool, moist ocean air drifted inland overnight Monday night.  This comes one day after the sixth coolest Memorial Day in Boston over the last half century yesterday: a high of only 55 degrees at Logan Airport was only two degrees milder than the coldest Memorial Day of the last 50 years, which was a high of 50 degrees in 1974.  Although the coast should shake that kind of chill Tuesday, we’re still likely to see high temperatures capped at 70 to 75 degrees within about 6 or 7 miles of the coast, versus a jump into the 80s inland.  In the days to come, the wind will gradually shift to blow from the southwest, rather than the south, and our First Alert weather team expects this slight wind direction shift to be enough to shake the sea breeze, affording high temperatures in the 80s all the way to eastern facing coasts.  The exception, as one might imagine, will be anywhere along or within about 25 miles of south-facing coasts, where the onshore southerly wind carries some cool ocean air with it, moderating the warmth.  Although each morning will bring areas of fog and clouds, particularly near the coast, that will burn off during the morning for a blend of sun and clouds each afternoon with slowly building humidity, the next chance of showers or thunder in New England probably won’t come until Thursday evening or overnight, when a weak disturbance moves overhead.  Another such disturbance is expected later Friday to Friday night, once again raising the chance of showers and thunder, particularly over Western New England.  Eventually, a cold front arrives from the northwest, reaching New England Saturday and turning over humid and warm air in the morning to blossoming showers and thunder before shifting the wind to blow drier, cooler air into New England by late Saturday, Sunday and beyond into next week, with a cool night Monday night making frost a possibility we’ll keep an eye on for the sheltered valleys of Northern New England before a chance of showers builds by midweek at the end of our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.

Ocean Wind and Waves Play a Role in The Forecast

LKN_FRONTS_BOSDMA (11)In the midst of a dry weather pattern, the ocean plays a big role in our daily forecast, from rip currents to daytime temperature.  Tropical Storm Arthur has become non-tropical well south of New England but the waves churned by Arthur continue to spread north, with Wednesday morning buoy reports south of New England indicating 8 to 13 foot seas.  On our New England waters, seas will be three to six feet in swell, creating rip currents along south facing coasts Wednesday, easing to three to five feet Thursday.  Of course, with cool ocean water temperatures either side of 50 degrees, any time the wind blows off the ocean, our coastal communities will be noticeably cooler than inland counterparts, and Wednesday is a great example of this phenomenon with a prevailing light easterly wind – the result being high temperatures near 60 at the coast versus 65 to 70 degrees inland Wednesday afternoon.  Clear sky and a light wind will allow temperatures to cool to either side of 40 degrees Wednesday night, but a wind shift to blow from the south Thursday will allow even eastern coastal locales to warm into the 70s, with 80s by Friday – the only exceptions being those communities where a south wind blows across ocean water, particularly near the South Coast.  All the while, a very high pollen count – likely peaking for the season over the coming week or so – continues, and the sun angle has increased enough for the UV index to reach very high levels, meaning sunscreen is increasingly important for kids and adults.  The dry stretch of weather will continue to nudge the brush fire danger higher, as well, usually lowering this time of year as leaves blossom, but without rain, the ground and brush continue to dry out.  There’s a slight chance of showers Saturday – only about 15-20% with the more likely result being just increased clouds for the Southern half of New England – as a piece of energy ejects northeast from the storm that’s been stalled well southwest of us most of this week, creating flooding rain from the Great Lakes to the Appalachian Mountains.  Any Saturday showers, if they even materialize, would be fairly light and affecting only Southern New England…gone by Sunday.  Again, with wind direction the key, an onshore wind Saturday and Sunday will mean Friday’s 80s take a break through Memorial Day, but 80s return to the forecast for a summery, several day stretch starting Tuesday and lasting through the end of our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.

The Best of New England Spring Awaits

LKN_COASTAL_MARINE LKN_COASTAL_MARINE LKN_COASTAL_MARINENew England is entering an epic spring stretch in one of the best looking 10-day forecasts in recent memory.  There are a few major weather features near the Eastern United States: a storm over the Great Lakes responsible for Monday tornadoes in Ohio, Tropical Storm Arthur moving east-northeast after brushing North Carolina’s Outer Banks, and a large high pressure – fair weather – dome over Atlantic Canada.  The biggest player of these in New England’s weather forecast is, far and away, the high pressure dome of dry air, firmly anchored just to the northeast of New England and keeping the two nearby storms at bay.  Just because we see no direct impact of the nearby storms doesn’t mean we won’t see any impact at all: Tuesday midday through Wednesday, for instance, waves in New England’s coastal waters will build to three to six feet with strong rip currents along the South Coast in swell emanating from the north side of Tropical Storm Arthur as the storm prepares to turn south toward Bermuda.  Sandwiched between Arthur and the Canadian fair weather cell, high-altitude, wispy cirrus clouds will mix with sun while our wind will gust up to 30 mph at times Tuesday from the northeast, keeping coastal communities cooler than the interior, owing to ocean water temperatures only around 50 degrees, and most New England communities will only feel like the 50s at the warmest time of Tuesday thanks to the breeze.  Tuesday night temperatures will drop into the 30s north and 40s south under partly cloudy skies with a quieting wind as high pressure expands, delivering a lighter onshore wind Wednesday under ample sunshine.  Thursday and Friday the wind begins to change direction as the center of high pressure drifts from Atlantic Canada to a position southeast of New England, with the clockwise flow of air around its center delivering a southerly wind for high temperatures in the 70s Thursday and a southwest wind with highs in the 80s Friday!  Meanwhile, the second storm mentioned over the Ohio Valley will send a piece of upper atmospheric energy east into New England on Saturday, likely to increase our clouds and possibly touching off a few showers, though right now showers seem unlikely given the abundance of dry air, then Sunday returns to more sunshine with both weekend days featuring highs from 60 at the coast to 70 inland as an onshore wind returns.  Memorial Day once again features a shifting wind to blow from the south, bumping temperatures into the 70s under sunshine, and a warm, southwest wind returns through the middle of next week in the last three days of our exclusive First Alert 10-day, with high temperatures expected to soar well into the 80s.

Tropical Storm Arthur Stays South; Dry Weather Ahead

LKN_LIFESTYLE_GOLF_BOARDWhile the weather world turned attention to the development of Tropical Storm Arthur this weekend, developing before the official start of hurricane season and brushing along the Outer Banks of North Carolina on this Monday, here in New England the forecast hasn’t changed with regard to Arthur: no direct impact for most of us.  “Most of us” excludes mariners, where swell moving north of Arthur’s path from North Carolina to Bermuda will arrive to our coastal waters Tuesday, building seas three to six feet.  Otherwise, the big feature for New England is a large and strengthening dome of high pressure – fair weather – over Atlantic Canada, flexing its muscle and ensuring not only Arthur but also a separate storm over the Great Lakes will stay away from New England.  Instead, New England sees a dry stretch of weather after Monday morning sprinkles associated with a passing disturbance aloft come to a close by mid-morning, though clouds will remain stubborn through most of Monday.  With the abundance of clouds, black flies – now hatched and biting in most of New England – will be especially aggressive, so bug spray isn’t a bad idea.  From Tuesday onward, we’ll swap bug spray for sunscreen – or perhaps combine the two in some spots – as sunshine makes a comeback, dry weather continues, and a continuing onshore wind will mean coolest daytime temperatures near the coast in the 50s while inland spots rise into the 60s each day.  The stretch of dry weather will ensure pollen count remains high through the week, with pine pollen ready to burst in the days ahead and join birch, oak and lingering maple that have all been driving allergy sufferers to the tissues, and will lead New England gardeners and those trying to grow grass seen to set up sprinklers to keep the tender plants and sprouts from drying out.  As the wind shifts direction later Thursday, temperatures rise a bit, and a continuing shift in wind to blow from the southwest by Friday likely means we’ll end the week around 80 degrees, even in Boston and along the coast, before an onshore wind takes hold again for Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, with Memorial Day itself brining a southerly wind to bump temperatures into the 70s Monday, en route to 80 again by the middle of next week. Along the way, our First Alert Team will monitor showers expected to be over Pennsylvania this Friday, with a low chance of about 20% those showers may slide into New England on Saturday or Sunday of the holiday weekend, though right now chances are better those showers dry up on approach, leaving us with variable clouds but mostly dry conditions in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.

Cool Spring Air Eventually To Be Overcome By Warmth

V_MATTS_MORNING_MEMO (2)The same cold air aloft that sparked showers and thunderstorms with hailstones Monday is still in New England Tuesday, but there’s a big difference: the air is drier, and this will preclude thunderstorm development.  Fair weather clouds will still probably bubble in the sky Tuesday afternoon, and some showers of rain, graupel (soft snow pellets) and snow are possible in the North Country – particularly the mountains – Tuesday afternoon, while the remainder of the six-state region stays dry.  Dry air doesn’t mean warm air, however, with high temperatures cooler-than-normal at just shy of 60 degrees and 40s across the far North Country, with a steady west-northwest wind at 10 to 20 mph with higher gusts creating wind chill values that never top 50 degrees at the warmest time of the day.  The wind keeps up overnight Tuesday night, which may preclude frost from developing but doesn’t stop the temperatures from falling to near-record cold, including in Downtown Boston.  Wednesday brings sunshine from start to finish for all of New England – another bright day, but another cool one with similar high temperatures near 60 and a continuing breeze.  Thursday marks a big change in our weather pattern – not just because daytime high temperatures jump well into the 60s, but because the forecast is devoid of significantly colder-than-normal air from Thursday onward.  For this reason, Thursday looks like it should be “safe planting day” in Southern New England from which point forward frost is unlikely…we’re watching the possibility of one cooler night this weekend, then again late in the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but right now neither looks frosty for the southern half of New England.  In fact, after warm and humid air fuels showers and thunderstorms for at least part of Friday, slightly cooler and drier air arrives for most of the weekend, though some showers are possible by later Sunday.  In fact, the chance of showers will continue into the start of next week, along with some uncertainty in the forecast owing to New England’s proximity to the jet stream winds aloft – the fast river of air, high in the sky, the steers disturbances and separates cool from warm air.  As long as the jet stream is flowing overhead, we remain on the edge of cool versus warm air and our chance of showers is elevated…and this is essentially the case from late Sunday through Tuesday.  By Wednesday, the jet stream starts shifting north, opening the door to more bona fide warmth with daytime high temperatures forecast by our First Alert Team to reach 75 to 80 degrees in our exclusive 10-day forecast.