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Nice weather today, downhill thereafter

Posted by David Epstein  July 25, 2012 09:25 AM

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After another afternoon and evening of thunderstorms, the rest of the overnight turned out very nice with cooler temperatures and clearing skies. Hail did some damage to parts of the area, especially around Plymouth where it covered the ground. The day dawned bright and except for a gusty wind this afternoon will be a wonderful July day. Unfortunately, we will not be able to string together any more really dry days for a while. You are going to hear showers and thunderstorms mentioned in the forecast through Saturday or even Sunday. It's important to note that hearing or seeing the word rain in the forecast doesn't mean a washout. However, if it does rain during the Thursday through Sunday time period, that rain could be torrential. If you a quick weather question why not ask me through Twitter at @growingwisdom

Today
Warm and breezy are the two words to best describe today's weather. A front that went by the area last night has left a small bubble of Canadian air over the region. This air will provide a wonderful Wednesday with abundant sunshine and temperatures into the lower 80s. Overnight will be mostly clear and still dry. Temperatures will fall to comfortable levels so leaving the windows open is still a great option to take. Starting tomorrow, more changes begin.

Warm and humid air is going to flow north beginning early Thursday. The problem is that this new air mass is going to bump into the dry air mass to the north. The battle between these two air masses will produce showers and thunderstorms at times for 3 or even 4 days. The exact location of the boundary is critical to know where to expect showers. If the boundary is just to the south of Boston that is the worst case scenario for lots of rain. If the boundary is through northern New England, we end up humid and warm with more in the way of scattered showers and storms. The front can even waffle back and forth making it even harder to predict the timing of the showers.

Some of the showers that could occur at the end of the week may contain some heavy downpours as there will be a lot of available water to come down from the clouds. I have written about this available water before, it’s called precipitable water. The higher that number the better chance any rain that occurs will be heavy. We also look this same number in the winter to help forecast snowfall totals. Whether this pattern continues into Sunday is still a bit of a question mark. My confidence in timing of he rain for the weekend is lower than normal because a few mile difference with the positioning of the front will make an enormous difference in the actual weather. I am confident that this is not going to be a nice weather weekend overall. I will be working out more details over the next few days. The map below is for tomorrow and shows an area of rain especially over Vermont. The reality is that that area could move further south an affect parts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and even Connecticut.
gfs_pres_3e.gif

We will see gaps in the shower activity as well. As I review one particular model, the North American Model or NAM, I am noticing a break in the shower activity Friday with a return of activity on Saturday. July 27th.bmpThis many days from the actual weather the forecast will not be exactly correct. The gap in the rainfall will happen, but the timing of that gap is going to change. july 28th.bmp it's always difficult to forecast situations in which the weather is not moving very much. The difference of a few miles in the positioning of a front can change the location and intensity of the rainfall (or winter snow) dramatically. The computer models themselves have a hard time figuring out these types of situations and three different models can give three slightly different solutions.

Next Week
It does appear that the the last of the waves of showers will move across the region later Sunday. This will be followed by clearing and a return to sunshine to start next week. I know that losing a weekend in July to weather isn't preferable, but we have had some amazing weekends of weather for much of the spring and summer. This is all little consolation I am sure if this upcoming weekend is part of your vacation on the beach.

Gardening tip of the week
We have a new video for you today on a special coreopsis I planted. This is a great perennial that will come back each year and get wider and more floreforous each year. I like this video because it gives you a good understanding of how to plant almost anything. Check it out.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. Please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at GrowingWisdom.com

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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