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Cold arctic air for a few days here, snow in mid-Atlantic

Posted by David Epstein  March 3, 2014 07:39 AM

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Although Boston won't see a flake of snow today and sunshine will quickly take over this morning the effects of the storm are being felt. Currently, over 2000 flights are cancelled across the system and the ripple effects may reach your flight. Please verify your travel plans this morning.
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Cape Cod Snow
There is snow in Massachusetts. Over Cape Cod and the Islands 1 to 3 inches of snow will fall. The snow will end starting by mid morning over many areas and as late at noon over Nantucket. If you are Cape bound this morning, expect some travel delays. The radar from this morning shows where it was snowing at 6:30AM, this area will push southeast during the day.
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Winds are picking up across New England as the dry air from the arctic continues to erode any opportunity for snow. Even in New York City, the cold dense air has pushed the brunt of the snow south.

Please follow my updates on Twitter @growingwisdom


Cold as January
Temperatures this time of year should be reaching about 40F, but won't get much higher than the lower 20s, today. This is but a continuation of the cold air of February. In comparison, today's highs are certainly more typical of early to mid January, not early March.

The cold is keeping local lakes and ponds frozen and skating and ice fishing can continue longer than they have in recent years. It does appear on balance March is going to be colder than average. Unless we have a remarkable turnaround in the pattern, leaf-out will be delayed somewhat. As we get closer to the later part of the month, I can reevaluate this. There are all sorts of interesting pieces of natures puzzle that come into play when you have a cold spring.


Overnight is going to be very cold again. There will be some readings in the far northern and western parts of the area which fall below zero. Inside Route 495 lows will be in the single numbers and as "warm" as the lower teens in Boston and the immediate coast.

Tuesday looks cold and dry again with a few clouds increasing. The middle of the week brings a slow moderation in temperatures with a few flurries. While your favorite app on your phone might snow snowflakes, there is no cause for concern, it's just the chance of snow showers.

Late week warm-up
Towards the end of the week milder air will bring temperature readings closer to normal along with the opportunity for a new round of precipitation. A storm will be brewing in the ocean, but whether it comes close enough to this area to bring rain or snow is a toss of the coin right now.

Meteorological mentors
In addition to my blog and the work I do on radio and TV I also teach. Being in education, I hope I can positive influence my students in ways they will come to appreciate in years to come. If you read this blog regularly you certainly know my Maine roots are deep and I proud of them. So much of the reason I am able to write or broadcast about the weather and gardening is because of all of my Maine connections. Of course Maine was once part of Massachusetts so it seems fitting I would settle here, now for over two decades.

Since the storm bringing a major snow event to the mid-Atlantic is going to miss us, the overall weather pattern looks pretty quiet. This lends me an opportunity to reflect upon all those mentors, without whose guidance, I wouldn’t be doing what I love so much.

One of my favorite memories in school was walking from my junior high to the elementary school for lunch. (Our school had no cafeteria back then). It was a great opportunity to get outside and this short 5 minute walk often gave me the chance to ask my science teacher (pester) Mr. Chambers about weather and gardening. In spite of the cold of a typical March, I’d ask (pester) him when to plant peas and how much more snow he thought there might be before spring really arrived. To me, he seemed always have the right answers about all of these things. When I left Moore, he would write in my yearbook “I’ll look forward to your giving the report on T.V.”
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When I think back to all the mentors I had during my years in the Portland School system it’s simply amazing how many teachers encouraged me to keep perusing my love of meteorology and horticulture. I have two hibiscus plants I winter over in the house every year. I can trace how I care for those plants to how my teacher showed me what she did to her own hibiscus each winter. Ms. Agren taught me how to sew and cook and I know I still use some of the techniques I learned in 8th grade today. In the 5th grade we had to follow the weather for a week and then make our own weather map. My work earned an A+. “Great Job” from Mr. Dulac, much to the chagrin of my fellow students who didn't understand how any 10 year old could make weather maps that well.

In 1980 I started all my tomato plants in Mr. Hoyt’s biology room at Deering High School and would attempt the same thing the following year with Mr. Walker at Portland High. (Growing up where I did I was able to transfer schools my junior year). Each of those teachers fostered a love of plants, animals and the natural world around me I still carry today. When I applied to Colby , my 8th grade English teacher Ginny Foley wrote one of my recommendations, although she was later tragically killed by a drunk driver, her support was a big piece in helping a very awkward kid grow up and be accepted into the college I would come to love so much.

Senior year at Portland Dr. Greer, the then superintendent of schools, would periodically call me out of class before a storm to ask me what I thought about the upcoming snow. His first question was always to ensure he wasn't taking me out of Mr. Hadlock’s class, the ultimate faux pas when it came to my Physics lessons and Mr. Hadlock. IMG_2460.JPGThe day I graduated, I open my diploma to find a personalize note from the secretaries at PHS. At first I thought it was blank, but quickly read the kind words from those women.

Television news also made an indelible impression on me growing up. Those forecasters who told the weather story were heroes to me. In same way others worship their favorite athletes, I knew I wanted to have a job like some of the forecaster on TV. In Maine, Bob O’Wril, Art Horn, Steve Adamson , Terry Casey , Barry Burbank (before he went to WBZ) and Joe Cupo. I’m fortunate years later to call many of these people respected colleagues. My first internship was at WBZ with Bruce Schwoegler just after Don Kent had retired. I was fortunate to meet Don when he would sometime visit during the winter.
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At Colby, I was exposed to incredibly supportive professors and staff who further helped guide me towards my eventual career. Senior year, when I wrote my cover letters to about 100 TV stations throughout the country I spelled the word career with two r’s. In a pre-spell check world, I was so grateful when the administrative secretary for the Biology not only caught the mistake, but retyped the letters and for me. (I continue to work on my grammar and punctuation in these unedited blogs).

One student who took my class at Colby (I taught Jan Plan there) is now an anchor in Bangor at WABI. It definitely brings a smile to my face when I see a tweet from @newsycaitlin and think about her budding career in the media and hopefully years of success. I remember how excited she was the first time I took the class to a TV station and her telling me this was the field for her.

I know spring will come, it always does and whether I am forecasting April showers or planting my peas, the people and institutions who helped guide me along the way are always close in my heart.

Ask me a question about weather or gardening on Twitter @growingwisdom.

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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