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Damp this afternoon, but turning milder in places

Posted by David Epstein  December 4, 2012 02:47 PM

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Back in 1940 folks awoke this morning to a record cold 4F degrees. This ice was already becoming thick on many ponds and Boston would record nearly 50 inches of snow for that winter. On this same date in 1906 the high for today reached only 16F degrees and one can imagine folks gathered around their fireplaces much of the day. Today is going to be closer to 1982 when the high for the day hit a record 70F and temperatures that night only fell into the 50s. You might be wondering if we are going to repeat last winter's balmy conditions and the answer is most assuredly, no. The pattern for the next 10 days or so is mild as the jet stream continues to keep the coldest of the early winter air locked up in Canada. Winter sometimes doesn't get going until late December or January. This year is looking like we may have to wait until later in the month to see steady periods of cold and snow. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. On Twitter at @growingwisdom you can find more updates about the rest of the week's weather and what to expect this winter. Also, check out my latest newsletter by clicking here.

This afternoon
Clouds an a raw wind have hung on longer than expected so our burst of 50 plus temperatures will be very short. From Boston south and west I still expect temperatures to make it in the 50F+ range. However, to the north and west of the city temperatures will struggle in to the 40s. This time of year the colder air is tough to scour out with the sun so weak and the daylight so short. The sun is now setting seconds from its earliest time of 4:11 and it becomes quickly chilly by 5PM so try to enjoy some of the 9 hours of daylight we are getting this time of year. The long nights allowed fog to form again and I expect it to take until near noon before it fully burns away.

The rest of the week

A cold front will come through the area early tomorrow morning and usher in colder air for the rest of the week. Tomorrow the air will still be mild for the time of year hitting about 54F for a high. Temperatures will trend lower late in the afternoon. By Thursday morning expect a hard freeze and with a high that day barely hitting 40F. The weekend could be somewhat unsettled but not terribly cold. Temperatures will be well into the 40s and may hit near 50F south of Boston. Whether we have much rain or not I won't have a good handle on for a few more days. However, I am confident on many clouds and not much sunshine for the weekend.

Where is the snow?

Some folks are wondering about snow and if it will be a white Christmas. Remember, in the Boston area the odds are against a white Christmas. There is about a 1 in 4 chance of a white December 25th if you look at the record books. What makes me think this December will not end up very snowy is what has happened over the past 5 years. Normally, December has about a foot of snow. December Snow 2008 (3).jpgFrom December 2007 through December 2010 the average was a whopping 22 inches, 10 above normal. (The picture is from December 2008 at my house, we had over 2 feet that month.) Even if you add in the zero snowfall from last December, the 5 year average is still 50% above what we expect for December snowfall. The point here is that the average is an average for a reason and we need a few more lower December snowfall totals to get there. Weather has a way of averaging itself out over time.

How to grow your own garlic

Believe it or not you can still plant garlic this time of year for a summer harvest. I planted mine a few days ago and it is already rooting. In order to plant garlic you need to get garlic bulbs that can be planted. You could rush order online or try buying some organic garlic from a supermarket and use that as a first start. You need to use organic garlic because other garlic can be treated with a growth inhibitor.

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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