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Warm afternoon, but chilly rain ends week

Posted by David Epstein  April 9, 2013 10:02 AM

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Spring is a time of transition and when the weather transitions from winter to summer crazy things can happen. I just check the weather in Denver and it's 20F with snow. denver snow.pngFurther east, Washington, DC will be in the 80s the next couple of days and some areas will make a run at 90!
I'll be updating the upcoming weekend forecast on Twitter at @growingwisdom please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

Fronts divide air masses and this week a powerful front will divide winter-like air from summer-like temperatures. On the weather map today we find that front draped across the northern tier of the United States. Since fronts divide these air masses there is often tremendous amounts of energy along the front. Storms like to form on these boundaries. In winter and early spring, heavy snow often falls to the northwest of the storm (represented by a red L on the map). To the south and east of the storm, severe weather is a concern.

The closer you are to the front, the more active the weather tends to be. If you are very far to the north of a boundary your weather will often be cold and dry. If you are far to the south, such as is the case in Washington, DC today, you will be warm and sunny.
For us here in southern New England we are briefly south of the front today and this is the reason it's quite mild. If you are in northern sections of Massachusetts temperatures will be in the lower and middle 60s, but rise as high as 70F or better south of the Mass Pike. Sunshine will increase and this will easily be the nicest day of the next 5.

The forecasting challenges increase as we head through the rest of the week. The front will slip south tonight and Wednesday and allow cooler air to filter into the region. This change can also be accompanied by a few showers. These fronts can be very fickle oscillating back and forth 30 or 40 miles and then getting stuck. Temperatures will swing wildly on either side of the front.

The image below shows the amount of rain forecast to fall through midday Thursday. You can see the streaks of heaviest precipitation are located either side of the Mass Turnpike and this is the general location of the frontal boundary.
Precip next few days.jpg

On Friday another storm will ride along the front and bring a period of steady to perhaps heavy rain to the area. Temperatures will be very chilly and most likely remain in the lower and middle 40s for much of the day. The rain will linger into early Saturday, but clearing skies and drier air will make for a nice weekend overall. Temperatures will be seasonable, mostly in the 50s.

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
Many of you have ornamemental grasses in your yard. These grasses are quite beautiful in the summer and fall, look horrible this time of the year. There are a few things you can do right now to help get those grasses looking good early in the season.

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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