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Wet weather for some of the weekend

Posted by David Epstein  December 7, 2012 12:45 PM

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When I blog about the weather one of the first things I do is write the headline. The headline is what you see first so I actually give it quite a bit of thought. I try to make it eye catching, a quick summary of the weather, not hype the forecast and also not give the wrong impression about the ensuing few days. The headline for this blog is "wet weather for some of the weekend". It does look like part of the weekend will have some rain, but Sunday is actually looking rather nice with partial sunshine and rather pleasant temperatures for this time of the year. A weather system will move through the area overnight with a period of rain. It appears that much of the rain will end late Saturday morning and I expect some drier conditions for a good deal of the afternoon. This will set us up for a brief period of nice weather Sunday before another system of mild weather and rain moves through Sunday night and into Monday.Get my latest thinking on the weekend weather or just ask a question on Twitter at @growingwisdom
saturday december 8th forecast.gif

How much rain?
We have two shots of rain for the weekend, one early and one late. how much rain.gif The first bit of rain tonight and Saturday morning looks to provide only .10 inches to .25 inches of water. I have embedded three images in this paragraph showing how much rain falls in the next three days. The first map above is for Friday at 7AM through Saturday at 7AM. The next map takes us from Saturday at 7AM through Sunday at 7AM and the final map shows precipitation from early Sunday morning till Monday morning. These maps are rough ideas of the total precipitation that will fall across the country this weekend. As you can see most of the precipitation this weekend falls from the Ohio valley eastward to the Atlantic coastline. how much rain sunday.gifThese maps cover 24 hour periods and don't give a good idea of exactly when that rain will fall. However, that is why you are reading this blog right? The wettest periods, when most of the rain will fall,will be overnight tonight through mid morning Saturday and again Sunday evening into Monday morning. It looks too warm for any snow or sleet from either of these events across southern New England. There could be some mixed snow, sleet and freezing rain across northern New England from both of these events. However, neither will provide a good deal of snow for skiers. how much rain sunday.gif You can click on the images to make them bigger. Each map also gives you an idea of where else in the country it will precipitate. These maps show melted precipitation, in other words, they take any snow that would fall and give the water equivalent. The moisture you see across the upper Midwest is actually going to fall as snow. You have to look at other maps to know what form the precipitation will take.

Sunsets at their earliest now
We have made it to that time of year when the sun is setting at the earliest possible time. In Boston the sun will set at 4:11 the next couple of nights and then 4:12 until December 13th. After the that we move to 4:13 then 4:14 and on the first day of winter we are at 4:15, 4 minutes later than the earliest sunset. You might say, wait a minute isn't the 21st the shortest day of the year? You would be correct, but that is not the earliest sunset of the year. Because of the way we sit in the time zone, the shape of the earth and it's orbit around the sun the latest sunrise and earliest sunsets are not on December 21st. What is true on December 21st is that the gap between the sunrise and sunset is at the smallest possible point. In Boston we have 9hours 04minutes and 33seconds of time between official sunrise and sunset on that day. What is happening right now is that the sunrises are getting later and the sunsets are getting earlier so the gap between is shrinking. After tomorrow, the sunsets will very slowly, on the order of a second or two, start moving later. However, the sunrises are moving later faster that the sunsets so we continue to decrease overall daylight. Our sunrises will get 10 minutes later between now and the first day of winter while our sunsets get 4 minutes later in the same time period. This is a net loss of 6 minutes over the next two weeks and is the reason why the days are getting shorter until the 21st of the month. Interestingly, the sunrises won't start moving earlier until January 6th. By that time we will have gained 12 minutes of daylight in the afternoon.

Next week
The long range outlook keeps much of the east warmer than normal through the middle of the month. snow depth.pngThis doesn't mean we won't have cold days, like today, but it does mean on balance there will be more mild days than cold ones. Next week starts unsettled with more rain showers. Colder weather follows but, as I mentioned, won't last long or be very intense. It looks like the lack of snow on the ground across New England will hang around for a bit longer.

Newsletter
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.

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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