The weather forecast for the next 5 to 7 days looks so wonderful it makes me nervous. You might think what would make you nervous about sunshine and dry weather? There are two things. First, this time of year a full week of no rain isn't good for agriculture. We are going to finish April with a rain deficit and this will be the second month, since the start of the year, without adequate moisture. While the landscape is greening, it won’t take long for drought to rear its ugly head. I probably get overly concerned about the rain, but as a gardener that’s where my head goes.
I'll be updating the weekend forecast on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.
The second reason I get concerned about prolonged periods of sunshine and dry weather is that when we get these patterns in early spring, they can end up resetting themselves later in the season with a prolonged period of damp/cool weather. While we don’t know if this will happen, the fact that the atmosphere is always trying to achieve balance means that at some point it’s going to get wet again.
Speaking of balance the number of tornadoes this year has been remarkably low. So far in April there have been fewer than 75 tornadoes across the USA and if that number stays under 100 for the rest of the month, it will be the first time this has happened in two decades. To put this in perspective, April normally sees about 187 tornadoes. Back in 2011 there was a whopping 758. This fact ties in with my point about balance. The atmosphere is a constant state of flux and these wild swings are just part of what is “normal”. This year tornado alley is enjoying a quiet tornado season.
Let’s look at the details of the next week. The biggest challenge to the forecast will be temperatures along the coast. Water temperatures are in the 40s and if the wind comes off that water it’s going to knock temperatures back 10 or more degrees. So while Bedford, Fitchburg, Worcester, Millis and Franklin might be near 70F Boston, Lynn, Revere, Hyannis, and Rockport might be 55F.
If you are headed to Boston for any outdoor activities it might be a good idea to have a light jacket handy. Temperatures in the city will tend to reach the maximum in the early afternoon and then fall back if a sea breeze kicks in. There is a good chance these sea breezes with be a factor starting today before weakening Sunday and early next week. There will certainly be several days where high temperatures make a run at 70F for many of you.
This afternoon a little pool of cold air is going to pass through the region. When cold air moves over the ground this time of year it creates perfect conditions to pop off a quick shower. Since this is the case there is the risk of a quick shower Friday afternoon, but I expect skies to end up generally sunny for most of the day. The best chance for showers will be west and north of Boston. If you do get one, it won't last very long.
This weekend looks nearly perfect for late April with wall to wall sunshine and mild temperatures in the upper 60s and lower 70s. While much of the western part of the country has seen record snow, rain and cold April 2013 for New England is going out on one fine note.
I'll be updating gardening tips and weather information on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.
Gardening this week
For the past several weeks I have been enjoying harvesting claytonia from containers off my deck. Claytonia is a great little plant that can be easily wintered over by covering your containers or putting them in the garage. You can then move them outside in early spring and watch them resume growing.
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