Rapid changes in the weather will take place over the next 72 hours as we go from sunshine to a rainstorm and back to dry weather. The wild swing in weather conditions will be accompanied by an equally wild swing in temperature, especially along the coast. Highs today will reach the 40s and that will be the case Tuesday as well. However, tomorrow coastal areas from the Cape and west to about the Route 495 belt should reach the 55F-60F degree range with the mildest air over the south shore north through Boston. The rest of the work week looks to be dry and seasonable with highs in the lower 40s by day and middle 20s at night, quite typical for the second week of December.
Clash of the air masses
Take a look at the weather map above. Do you notice the red line running east west just our north? That line represents the divide between cool and milder air and is called a warm front. To the north of that line is an area of rain that will move through later tonight and through the first part of the commute Monday. The map I am showing is for early Monday morning and the rain area at that time will be lifting northward. As we break into the mild air it will become mostly cloudy and breezy and feel like spring. Late in the day and overnight Monday, the cold front, that blue line to our west, will sweep through. As the cold front passes offshore it will usher in colder and drier air for the rest of the week. I expect .50 inches to as much as one inch of rain late tonight through Monday.
Great shopping weather
Chanukah started last night and Christmas is just over 2 weeks away. Many of you might be thinking of doing some shopping this week. The weather looks great after our rain Monday with dry roads and not much wind. You will be able to leave your coat inside the car if you are OK being a bit chilly walking from the parking lot to the inside of the store. (I hate lugging my jacket around from store to store inside a mall)
I know many folks would love to see a white Christmas. Remember, the chances that any area across New England has a snow on the ground Christmas morning are highly variable. The chances are quite different in the major cities of the 6 state region with Caribou, Maine the highest at close to 100%. Here are some other probabilities of a white Christmas for a few cities: Boston 23%, Concord, N.H. 87%, Hartford 57%, Portland, Maine 83%, and Providence 37%. Here in the Boston area the chances increase as you drive west on the Massachusetts Turnpike doubling by the time you hit Worcester. Our long range models keep us dry into next weekend and then show a storm potential around the 20th. This may be one of only two shots at getting any show before the 25th. If you are traveling this Christmas you might end up heading to a spot with snow. As you would expect the chances of seeing snow for Christmas are greatest across the northern tier of the United States.
Every few months I right a newsletter on gardening and a bit about weather. You can see the newsletter for December by clicking here. You can sign up for the newsletter at Growing Wisdom. It's free and no one else gets the email addresses.
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.
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