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Cold weather won't last very long

Posted by David Epstein  January 3, 2013 09:36 AM

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You might have noticed the winds picking up yesterday afternoon around 3 PM. That wind, was an arctic front crossing the area and ushering in the coldest air of the winter season. When winter is over, it could be that this morning ends up as the coldest morning of the entire winter, but we won't know that for sure until late February. What we do know is that very dry and very cold air will sit over the northeast for about another day before we return to more typical cold for January. As we head into the weekend, milder conditions will start to move northward and a thaw will set up for several days. This thaw will last into at least the start of next week. 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

Looking back at December it was a mild and fairly stormy month. The first few days of January are looking cold, but this cold will quickly exit the area tomorrow. January thaws are not unusual and many years we see several days, or longer, of temperatures well above freezing. There are even storms which bring rain, not snow. As we head through the next 10 days, dry and overall no big cold will be the trend. This doesn't mean it can't snow a bit, but, I don't see any major snowstorms in sight through next weekend. That puts us close to mid-January in the clear so to speak. After that, I expect the pattern to change again and we will be susceptible to more storms of snow.

This morning is quite cold with readings below zero from interior Massachusetts through most of northern New England. On the map I inserted, from 8 AM, you can see where temperatures where coldest. Surface today.png This is a typical weather map we use to evaluate current conditions. I put a code how to read the map on the top. The most important number for today is that black number at the top left of each station which gives air temperature. Notice that the coldest air is over upstate New York at around 20 below zero. It's also worth noting the temperatures in Illinois are some 40 degrees milder, that air will be here tomorrow.

Daily weather
For the next 6-7 days the weather will be dry and temperatures during the afternoon will rise above freezing. The mildest air will be here next week Tuesday and Wednesday when the mid 40s is possible for afternoon highs. This weekend most of us will see readings in the middle 30s and without much wind it will be a great weekend for skiing. Ski areas have a solid base of snow with many northern areas getting over 3 feet of snow in December. This is a great weekend to head north and enjoy your favorite slope.

More daylight
Tomorrow brings an additional minute of daylight as our sunsets and sunrises are growing further apart. This increase in light becomes quite dramatic in the next three weeks with the light increase doubling to two minutes by the third week of the month. As we head into February we start gaining nearly 3 minutes of daylight. Spring may seem a ways off, but in reality, we are already heading there.


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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