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Another fine weekend ahead

Posted by David Epstein  August 23, 2013 01:47 PM

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A dry afternoon is going to lead us into a very comfortable night with great sleeping weather and a gentle breeze. Has the moon been keeping you awake the past few nights? It's getting smaller now and shouldn't be as much of an issue moving forward.

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

At the end of July I wrote about a big change in the pattern that would bring cooler and mostly drier air to southern New England as we headed in August. As we begin the last week of the month, it appears this will end up being one of the nicest Augusts in a several years. Temperatures yesterday closed in on 90F, with Boston hitting 89F for the second day in a row. This was one of the warmest readings in New England, but Sanford, Maine did reach 90F for a short time in the afternoon. I am quite confident Boston will not hit 90F this August.

This weekend will provide nice weather with mainly clear skies. Highs will reach the upper 70s to near 80F with lower and middle 70s at the beaches. The sunshine continues for much of next week with just a chance for a few showers in the Tuesday or Wednesday time frame.

All this sunshine while great for vacationing and outdoor activity is starting to impact growers in the region. We have not had any measurable rain since the 9th of August and while rainfall for the month is below normal, it comes on the heels of a fairly wet start to summer.

If you think back to last August, we had over 3 inches of rain for the month, a bit different scenario than this one.

Highs this time of year are typically in the 70s and there is less light so the soil doesn't dry out quite as fast as it would have 6 weeks ago. However, we need rain and droughts can crop up late in the summer and into the fall impacting fall crops.

The tropics continues to be very quite which isn't a bad thing. Florida and parts of the gulf coast and southeast United States have seen a lot of rain this summer. A tropical system that brings heavy rain and wind could be devastating if it occurred on saturated ground.

For us here in New England, I don't see any issues with tropical systems for the next week or two. This doesn't mean we are out of the woods, but you won't have to take your boat out of the water unexpectedly this month.

Late August still leaves lots of time to plant in the garden. You might feel like the gardens are waning this time of year and many plants are tired and don't look so great. However, you can plant turnip, beets, spinach, kales, carrots, lettuce, radish and choys for the next week or so and get a nice crop before the very cold weather sets in. I put a video at the end of today's blog that talks about cold weather crops in spring. You can apply this same logic to fall.

If you are not a vegetable gardener this is a great time to reseed a lawn. However, with the dry weather, be sure to water the seed lightly each morning and again later in the afternoon. You can also move perennials and many shrubs this time of year.

Gardening this week
Tomato and corn season is upon us here in New England and the produce is wonderful. My own tomatoes are now coming to maturity and the video below is an update to one tomato plant I rescued last fall from a sidewalk at Framingham State. The plant was growing in the crack of the concrete and I kept it alive all winter.

I'll be updating the details of the weather 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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