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Election Day Forecast

Posted by David Epstein  November 5, 2013 09:12 AM

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If you went to the polls when they opened in Boston the temperature was right at 32F. For the rest of the day, it will be above freezing and during the afternoon highs will approach a rather comfortable 50F. I expect a lot of sunshine although it won't be quite as brilliant as Monday. Those of you in Boston I am sure will be happy to not be bombarded by political ads anymore. Whatever your affiliation, vote.

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

High pressure continues to hold tough over the region and is the reason for our dry weather. This high allows sunny skies during the day and clear skies at night which in turn leads to a wide swing in temperatures.

At night, radiational cooling can allow temperatures to fall dramatically after sunset. Radiational cooling is a meteorological phenomena that occurs under clear skies and light winds. The term is applied to these conditions because the heat of the day is able to radiate into space very effectively thus allowing the coldest temperatures possible by sunrise. radiational-cooling.jpgIf there are even a few clouds overhead, the process is interrupted because the heat that is escaping hits the clouds and bounces back to earth, keeping it significantly warmer.

A night with a blanket of high clouds versus a night with crystal clear skies can lead to temperatures 20 or more degrees warmer from the clouds acting like a blanket. Overnight a light wind from the southwest will keep temperatures from falling below freezing in most locations.clouds stop radiational cooling.png Our winds are flipping to the south because the high pressure system is moving further away.

The western side of a high is warmer than the eastern half. Wednesday, with the high pushing into the ocean, I expect highs to be more typical of early November reaching back into the mid-50s.
high.gif

Thursday is even milder with a brief return of 60 degree or higher temperatures. A front to our west will squeeze warm up northward up the coastline and also bring a period of showers. Showers appear most likely the second half of the day up to just after sunset.

On Friday, with the front offshore, a return to clear and colder conditions is in the offering for the start of the weekend. Winds will increase Friday morning and drag in another chilly air mass from Canada. I don't expect the next blast of cold air to be quite as winter-like as the one we are currently experiencing.

Drought
It probably seems silly talking about a drought in November, but that's exactly what we are experience in much of Massachusetts this year. The map below shows a wide area, mostly the eastern part of the state has flipped into a moderate drought status. While this might not seem important as the growing season has ended, it can impact the ability for some plants to survive the winter.
drought continues.jpg

If you have planted any trees or shrubs this year, especially since August, be sure to water them about once a week and soak them thoroughly. I still don't see any significant rain on the horizon. It's great for raking leaves, but really bad for the ground water situation. If we don’t have a normal amount of rain or snow this winter, we are setting up for major problems next spring.

Snow
Not only isn't there any significant rain in site, but there is no snow on the horizon either. You have to go out to Wisconsin and Minnesota to find any real winter weather this week. The image below is from the National Weather Service out in Duluth. swath of snow.png I don't see my needing to make one of those maps for a while.

The clear skies much of this week will give you and opportunity to check out Venus in the southwestern sky. On Tuesday, the setting crescent moon will be close to Venus for a nice celestial show. The image below shows some of the astronomical features in the eastern sky. The image is from earthsky.org.
2013-november-south-taurid-meteor-night-sky-chart.jpg

Gardening this week
For me fall is a time of year I tend to cook more. My cooking also changes somewhat as the garden is not producing as much and there are different things available in the stores. With the heat of summer gone, I can make more stews and sauces that need to cook longer without the fear of heating up the kitchen. This week, my video shows how to make an easy tomato sauce that is sure to impress.

I'll be updating the forecast for the week 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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