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Heavy rains slipping south, improving conditions on the way

Posted by David Epstein  June 18, 2013 05:32 PM

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Quite the day of rain and storms again. Some areas saw road closures and flooded basements. The line of showers and thunderstorms that caused all those issues is pushing south towards Cape Cod. The rest of the evening will see improvement from north to south. The shower area is also weakening as it moves past Plymouth. The radar loop below shows where the line of rain was as of about 5:30 PM.
BOX_loopa latest rain.gif

I'll be updating the details of the afternoon storms on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

Thunderstorms and downpours continue in the forecast for this afternoon with an a line of heavy rain now moving southward. The rain will be heaviest now through sunset, but it will depend on exactly where you are as to when you get them. There is still the risk of showers after sunset, but nothing as strong as what we have seen.

There are a few things that are different in the atmosphere from yesterday so while some storms have been severe, a widespread outbreak of severe weather has not occurred. That said, be aware that some storms could contain deadly cloud to ground lightning and damaging winds. The potential for heavy rain is such that some roads could temporarily have flooding conditions from some of the storms.

When trying to forecast what type of storms will form during the afternoon we have to look at how the air will behave on its way skyward in building the storms. There isn’t much in weather that is a constant, but we can say that all storms have some lift associated with them. Lift is the mechanism to push the air up and build the storms. Sometimes the lift comes from a front, like today, when cold air is going to push warm air at the ground high into the atmosphere to form thunderstorms.

If the air starts turning on the way up, that can bring the potentials for tornadoes, not something I am expecting in today’s situation. If it’s very cold as the air gets lifted, the rain can get carried around and freeze and build hail. That was the situation some of you saw yesterday.

Once the front passes the area overnight, the lift will be gone and the chance of storms goes to zero. Our weather then takes a quite turn for the rest of the work week with sunshine and comfortable temperatures. As a matter of fact, several towns will see readings in the upper 40s for a couple of hours just prior to sunrise Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Afternoon highs will be in the 70s the next few days but into the 80s by the end of the weekend.

Late this weekend it will turn more humid. As warmer air moves back into the area, there can be some cloudiness and perhaps a shower, but the timing and frequency of any shower activity this weekend isn't a sure bet, nor is it even a definitive part of the forecast. What does seem to be likely is that heat and humidity will try to entrench themselves into the area sometime late in the weekend or early next week. There could even be some 90F degree readings showing back up especially over the interior by Tuesday or Wednesday (7 days from now).

Pollen levels have fallen again with the rain, but will climb towards the end of the week. There are grass and tree pollen in the air and the pine pollen is still covering things with a yellow film. Although the pine pollen is one of the most visible of the pollens it’s not one of the ones most people are allergic. Although it gets on everything, it’s large size makes it less likely to irritate your eyes and nose.

Gardening this week
With all the rain this month your soil might be water logged. Raised beds are a great way to grow flowers, vegetables, even trees and shrubs when you have limited space or need to create a new growing area. In the following video watch how we create a raised bed for a suburban homeowner. You could do the same thing anywhere by just changing the scale to fit your needs.

I'll be updating the details of the rain on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

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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