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Period rain early tonight, sunshine returns Monday

Posted by David Epstein  October 7, 2012 03:12 PM

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The holiday weekend continues with a much colder afternoon and evening a period of rain especially overnight. A storm will move from the mid-Atlantic region up the coast and east of Maine over the next 24 hours. As this happen a chilly rain will encroach on the area and continue much of the overnight hours. The best chance for rain will be east of Route 128 and over Cape Cod. Monday will see a return to sunshine with chilly temperatures. Shots of chilly air will continue to move through the area during the upcoming week and I expect isolated frost early this week in a few of the isolated valleys in southern New Hampshire and western Massachusetts. Late this week an even colder air mass will move in from Canada and that is when much of southern New England could see the first widespread killing frost of the season. Please follow me on Twitter. I will answer your questions and comments at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at GrowingWisdom.com

Radar is currently showing an area of rain slipping east northeast up over New England. Any rain that falls will be ending late tonight

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October Nor’easter
Technically today’s storm is a nor’easter. Storms are called nor’easters because the winds that occur with the storm come from the northeast. Some folks think they are named such because the storm itself arrives from the northeast but this is incorrect. If temperatures were colder we would see snow from this storm. As a matter of fact, some of the higher elevations of New England could actually see some snow overnight tonight. I am not expecting much accumulation, but some snow could fall nonetheless.
Columbus Day will be bright and beautiful. Temperatures will stay in the 50s much of the day. I know that not everyone is off tomorrow, but it will be a nice day to pick apples, view the leaves or just do some yard work. It’s not too late to plant new grass seed although I would say this is the last week I would recommend doing so. In terms of planting trees shrubs and perennials there is still plenty of time to plant. This time of the year the ground is still warm and the roots of plants have an easy time becoming established.
Frosty mornings
Overall the second week of October is going to be a cool one. Temperatures at night will go in the 30s and 40s all week and by Friday night and into Saturday morning there may be a widespread frost. The first hard frost is often tough to predict, just like the first accumulating snow. Cold air is heavier than warm air and therefore sinks to the ground. At night and into the early morning, the temperature at the ground can be 3 to 5 degrees colder than the air just above the ground. Official temperature readings are taken 3 feet above the ground. This is one of the reasons the thermometer outside your bedroom window might say 38F and you can see frost on your grass.
Rainfall after today will not be widespread. I expect there to be a chance of showers Tuesday night and through parts of Wednesday but even those days are not going to be washouts. Other than the highest mountain peaks I don’t expect any snowfall. Back in 1979, the 9th and 10th of October saw measurable snowfall across the entire region, including the city of Boston.


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Foliage
Many folks are reporting the color this year is the best in several years. The colors are vibrant and not muted as they were last year. Some of the best time to view the foliage is the middle of the day when the sun is highest and the colors really can shine.
Gardening tip this week
Leaves are falling and it's time to begin to close down gardens for the season. I am actually starting seeds inside now to plant in my cold frame for the late fall and early winter. You might be surprised how easy it is to continue to grow your own food right through Christmas will just a bit of cover and no electricity. If you want to learn about growing a vegetable garden Mass Hort has a great program called Garden To Table. You can learn about that program and other tips on setting up a garden in the video. This is a great time of year to get your garden ready for spring planting. Don't wait till spring.

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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