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Sunshine today, but forecasting challenges this weekend

Posted by David Epstein  October 9, 2013 02:32 PM

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The long holiday weekend is closing in fast and other than your plans, the weather this weekend is the most important thing. As I mentioned earlier in the week, the forecast was going to be a bit tricky heading into the weekend.

Today look like another great day across the region with a few high clouds blocking the full strength of the sun from time to time. Temperatures early this morning are cold, with some areas across northern New England seeing a freeze for the first time this season. Even here in southern New England there are places like Norwood, Bedford, Orange and Pittsfield all in the middle 30s. The heat island affect, warmth given off from buildings and sidewalks, has kept Boston in the lower 50s this morning.

A gentle flow of air from the ocean will prevent our temperature readings from going very high today. All of us will stay in the 60s, well inland and to the north will just nudge 60, while places like Boston, Gloucester, Plymouth and Hyannis hover in the lower 60s this afternoon.

Tomorrow, clouds will dominate the sky and there could be a few light showers or a few periods of drizzle from the Massachusetts turnpike southward. That chance of rain increases a bit towards Cape Cod. With the clouds, it will feel cool as the mercury reaches into the lower 60s. Where there is more sunshine, to the north, it will be a bit warmer. Northern interior New England will see the mildest readings with lower 70s a good possibility.

Friday, depending on exactly where you are will be a cloudy or partly sunny day. The amount of sunshine you see will determine just how warm it becomes in the afternoon. Some inland and northern areas of New England will be back into the 70s, while areas further south, like Cape Cod will be cloudy and cooler. Highs there will only reach the 60s.

The big forecasting issue the next several days comes thanks to a blocking weather pattern. Blocking patterns are tough because the weather systems become stuck in place. While the systems are said to be stalled, there still can be small movements and changes in intensity of any storms caught in this pattern.

I have summarized the situation on the map below. This map is for Saturday morning, but applies to much of the weekend. You can click the image to make it larger.
surface map Columbus Day weekend.jpg

I am watching a storm off the coast of the Carolinas forecast to sit in place for much of the weekend and even into early next week. The models are in general agreement about the forecast, but small differences have a big impact.

The line of completely cloudy skies versus partly sunny will run through southern New England early in the weekend. Right now it appears the clouds will clear Saturday and much of the time will see a blend of clouds and sunshine.

The further north and west you are this weekend, the better the weather. If you are going to New York for the weekend, expect clouds and showers with the best chance of a dry day to be Sunday.

Across the mountains of northern areas, the weather looks picture perfect with sunshine and mild temperatures in the 60s to lower 70s. It will be cooler along the Maine coast with a wind off the water, but with plenty of sunshine the foliage viewing will be amazing.

The map below, from The Foliage Network.com, shows the latest foliage report. I will update this map on Twitter and here as the new information comes out later today.
Foliage report.png
If you didn't read my article on climate change over the weekend you can click here to read more about how I see the latest United Nations IPCC report.

Gardening this week

Deer are an issue for gardeners any time of the year, but as we approach winter, they can become a particular problem.  If you are a hunter, I know how you will say we should take care of the deer, but short of that, there are ways to keep them out of your yard.  Check out this week's gardening video below.

If you want to discuss weather, climate or gardening or even education please find me 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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