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Quiet weather to celebrate First Night

Posted by David Epstein  December 31, 2012 08:17 AM

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The weather is going to cooperate for both people and ice sculptures this year. It won't be too cold for those of you walking around the city, yet it will be cold enough for the ice sculptures to look great. Temperatures will remain in the 25-29 degree range for the entire evening, typical for the last night of December. There will be a few clouds, but beyond a quick flurry there shouldn't be any precipitation. The tranquil weather continues for the next 5-8 days with two or three days being quite chilly. The coldest weather will be Wednesday and Thursday when temperatures remain well below freezing during the day and some interior valleys could see a zero reading on Thursday or Friday morning.I update the forecast often on Twitter at @growingwisdom

First Night Festivities
If you are headed into Boston or other First Nights around the area, make sure you have a good hat, gloves and warm socks. While it won't be extreme cold walking around outside at night can get rather chilly. I like to throw some of those hand warmers in my pocket so that if I do get cold I can grab them. You might catch a glimpse of the moon rising in the east around 9 PM tonight. The moon is heading towards the new phase, when we don't see it, so it's getting smaller. Our next full moon is late January on the 26th
Cold
January is our coldest month. January can also be quite dry depending on the jet stream. If the jet stream remains far to our south it allows cold air to overtake much of the area and keeps the moisture we need for storms away from the region. For the next week, the jet stream will be south of New England this gives us a flow of air from Canada where there isn't much moisture and the air is cold. I don't see any record setting cold this week, but Wednesday and Thursday will be some of the coldest days of the winter.

Longer days
The is a saying that gets thrown around this time of year that goes like this; "As the days lengthen, the cold strengthens" The saying has merit because in January, we gain nearly an hour of daylight. At first it starts slowly increasing by less than a minute. By the 5th we are gaining a minute of light each day and by the third week, 2 minutes of light gets added to each passing day.
While we gain light each day, climatologically our temperatures don't begin to recover until the third week of January and when it does happen, it's incredibly slow. Typical highs in Boston much of this month are just above freezing, in the mid 30s. Of course many days have been warmer or colder than that but averages are just extremes over time.

Milder next week

The long range charts are showing a moderation in temperature after about January 8th or 9th. Obviously it's tough to say with great confidence that will happen, but I suspect after a cold week, the atmosphere will take a break and we will become less cold, something to look forward to in the not too distant future.
Gardening
This weeks video talks about soil compaction. If you have an area of your lawn that won't grow grass very well or a tree that isn't performing, the issue might be soil compaction. Take a look at this video and see how soil compaction can be fixed.

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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