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Unsettled road to warmer weather

Posted by David Epstein  January 26, 2013 01:38 PM

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Last Sunday, during the Patriot's game, (sorry to open that wound) the temperature fell below 32F after being in the 50s much of the afternoon. Since then we have not gotten anywhere near the freezing mark and we won't surpass 32F until Monday, at the earliest. A week of temperatures below freezing, while certainly not unprecedented, hasn't happened in several years. The cold weather has been difficult for those who need to be outside for work. The frost has gone deep into the ground and should make for a more traditional mud season. There is some good news, many insects and other diseases that affect plants will be knocked back a bit after a cold period like this. While there is a warm-up for Tuesday and Wednesday the cold weather will return by the end of the week and I am expecting several more days of sub-freezing weather ahead. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. I'll be updating the forecast on Twitter at @growingwisdom

Cold air is certainly locked in place. This is going to become an important fact later Monday and early Tuesday as milder air streams north. At that time, a process known as overrunning will ensue and this will produce a period of light snow, sleet, freezing rain and eventually rain. freezing rain.jpg I am not expecting a big storm. However, it only takes a very small amount of precipitation on the roads to cause big problems. The commute home Monday would be the most likely period for traffic issues. Monday night a small accumulation of snow and ice can occur. Right now it doesn’t appear that we will see heavy amounts of either type of precipitation. It’s the freezing rain possibility that would cause the most problems. After so many days of deep cold, the asphalt will take quite a while to thaw and thus the reasons I am somewhat concerned for travel later Monday. I will be updating the forecast throughout the weekend. Some areas from the Massachusetts turnpike north could see 1-3 inches of snow. I will hone that forecast more tomorrow.
overrunning.png
Next week, Tuesday and Wednesday will be the mildest days. Temperatures Wednesday afternoon will reach the 50s after being in the 40s Tuesday. Most of the ground will most likely stay frozen although there will be some mud developing on the surface. The mild air will give those of you who have not taken down your Christmas lights to do that without freezing your hands.

Thursday, colder weather slowly filters back into the area. It will still be above freezing, but that will be the last above freezing day for a while as the colder air takes over again for next weekend. As we approach the 35th anniversary of the infamous “Blizzard of 1978” I still don’t see any major storms in sight. There are some initial signs of a more active storm track, but predicting when and if those storms will hit the area is futile at this point.
Gardening
This week I am putting up a video on how to build the perfect container. While you might not be thinking of gardening this week, you can plant pansies in 8 weeks and if you have protective covering some vegetables can be planted in another 5 weeks. More on how I do that in upcoming blogs.

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.
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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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