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Mild with showers today, colder with sunshine Friday

Posted by David Epstein  November 7, 2013 09:30 AM

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What a great morning. It feels like spring out there again as readings are in the 50s everywhere. This very pleasant temperature regime isn’t going to last long. Already, there is a cold front slicing through New York and poised to push through our area this afternoon.
This radar image is for the early part of the afternoon.radar  this morning.jpg It's based on a computer model, but give a good idea there will be some showers around lunch and just after.

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.

Cold fronts can be quite dramatic with a period of heavier showers along the front and a big temperature drop as soon as the front passes. To give you an idea of what will be happening later today, let's check out the weather in Buffalo over the past few hours.

The image below is called a meteogram. It's a pictorial representation of the weather observations during the past 24 hours. The top two lines are temperature and dew point. Notice how quickly the temperature fell at the end of the time period. This is exactly when the front passed the area.
met_KBUF (1).gif

We can also see a dramatic wind shift on this plot. For much of the time the wind was coming from the southwest, a warm wind direction, then, In the final hours of the meteogram, winds dramatically turn and start blowing from the northwest. This is a much colder and drier wind direction.

The small yellow dots represent rainfall during that time. Two dots stands for light rain, three is moderate rain. Those are the showers that are headed for us late this morning and early this afternoon.

I expect a period of rain lasting a few hours late this morning through the middle part of the afternoon. Before that time, there will be some spotty showers, drizzle and even a few sunny breaks. Winds will be brisk from the south.

As the front passes off the coast this evening, skies will clear and it will become cold and windy again for Friday. The weekend is mostly sunny Saturday and features partial sunshine for Sunday. Temperatures will moderate into the lower 50s Sunday after being in the 40s Saturday.

What about snow?
It's still early in November and cold and snow are not often part of the forecast. Indeed, this year while we have just experienced the coldest air of the season, I still don't see any prolonged cold or snow in the forecast.

Skiing isn't something many folks are doing yet and there is only one mountain open in that Vermont. Sunday River in Maine had a day or two skiing back in October, but the lack of prolonged cold makes it impractical to make snow only to have it melt away.

What I see on the long-term horizon is a continued dry spell lasting at least the next 10 days. In terms of cold, there are a couple of cold pushes from Canada through the middle of the month, but each cold wave is followed about 2 days later by warming. This means while we will have cold days over the next couple of weeks, I see the warmth trying to take over each time, leading to a lack of prolonged cold.

The jet stream configuration is also not showing signs of bearing any significant precipitation. This has become a big enough issue as most of coastal southern New England is now officially in a moderate drought. You may think droughts aren't a factor in fall or winter, but indeed they are and if they last, can cause big issue next spring and summer.
drought this week.jpg

One of the models I use to make my forecasts shows under an inch of precipitation through the end of the month including today! Would that to occur, I think the drought area would expand northward and begin to include parts of southern Maine. Southern New England could move into a severe drought if the rainfall deficit grows even further.

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 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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