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Some showers to start this weekend

Posted by David Epstein  August 17, 2012 03:49 PM

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Across the Midwest today there has a been a touch of fall in the air. Humidity is very low, temperatures have barely made it into the 70s and if you dove into Lake Michigan and went for a swim you would feel slightly chilly upon leaving the water. That air mass is moving towards New England tonight and will be here (though not as cool) next week. The problem for the weekend is that the front dividing that air from the hot air we have over us today will move at a snails pace through southern New England. This front, basically stalled to our south Saturday and part of Sunday, will leave clouds and the chance of showers in the forecast for at least the southern areas much of the weekend. The further north and west you travel from Boston the better the weather. So, if you want more sunshine and less chance of a showers head north. Have a weather question or need a forecast for something or somewhere special? Find me, then ask me on Twitter at @growingwisdom

Overnight
As the front pushes through the area overnight look for a period of rain and even thunder very late at night or early in the morning. Winds will blow from the southwest and keep the air a bit humid and warm. I am expecting temperatures to stay in the 60s to lower 70s much of the night.

Saturday
There can be a few showers in all areas early Saturday. Saturday afternoon will be a mostly cloudy day from about the Mass Pike south. Showers are most likely across Cape Cod and the Islands. If you are headed to northern New England look for clearing conditions for the afternoon and into the evening. However, the morning will feature a lot of clouds even across Maine, New Hampshire and southern Vermont. Temperatures will be in the 70s with the lack of sunshine and a cooler northerly flow of air.

Sunday
On Sunday sunshine will be prevalent across much of New England. The tough area to forecast for Sunday is from roughly Plymouth, Massachusetts and points south. The extent of the clouds is dependent on the exact placement of the cold front later this weekend. If the front is close to Martha's Vineyard and the rest of Long Island Sound, clouds will also hang tough on much of the Cape. However, if the front pushed down to the mid-Atlantic, clouds will move with the front leaving more in the way of sunshine in all of New England Sunday. Worse case scenario is a cloudy to partly cloudy day Sunday over the Cape with a shower or two. Temperatures Sunday will be 75F-80F with the coolest conditions at the water and over far northern New England.

Next Week
High pressure will build into New England next week and should keep it mild and dry for the week. Temperatures look to be in the upper 70s and lower 80s and I don't, right now, see any chance of rain for much of the time period. For many of you next week may be the last week of summer vacation before the kids head back to school. The weather looks to cooperate whether you are in the stores buying school supplies and clothes or just laying around the pool or at the beach.

Losing sunlight
We are about to flip to the other side of August and weather wise this means changes. Now, it's not as if fall is going come in on the 16th of the month, but daylight is rapidly diminishing and this will have profound affects on our weather. In northern Canada there is a small town called Resolute. Since May, Resolute has enjoyed 24 hours of daylight. In the next 15 days they will lose over 7 hours of that light and by mid-September sunrise and sunset will grow closer together for a loss of another 5 hours. The loss of the sun means temperatures will cool there as well as across the rest of the northern parts of our hemisphere. I am fascinated by Resolute. Temperatures today are in the 30s with periods of cold and snow. Although it may still warm into the 40s this month, the temperature trend is heading lower. You might ask, what the heck does that have to do with us? As colder air builds to the north it will be help to push the jet stream further south. As the jet stream moves south, our air cools, we lose humidity and we generally get a bit stormier. It takes, depending on the year, about 8 to 10 weeks for that jet stream to move more permanently into our area. Once that happens fall and even winter arrive. Last year, the jet stream rarely moved south but this winter I expect that to not be the case. More on the winter forecast in the next couple of weeks.

Gardening this week
Mid-August starts to allow gardeners to make some changes in the garden. Over the next few weeks you can begin to move perennials, reseed the lawn and dig up some shrubs. If the heat is still extreme, wait until the hot weather passes before starting your late summer and fall projects.

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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