Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer for many. It’s the first time this year that some of us travel to a beach, lake, or to the mountains.
This weekend’s weather is also all about location. The differences in temperatures from the Maine coastline to Cape Cod will be nearly as dramatic as from Cape Cod to the Berkshires. The general theme of the weekend is warm to hot at the start, then turning cooler along the coastline Sunday and Monday.
Showers are in the forecast, and your smartphone might lead you to believe that it’s going to rain more than it actually will. As a matter of fact, many of you won’t see a drop of rain until perhaps Monday, but that day could turn out to be a washout in some areas.
As always, forecasts are subject to change. The day most vulnerable to change is Monday. I’ll be updating on Twitter @growingwisdom throughout the holiday weekend.
If you’re going hiking, biking, or running…
Saturday is the one day on which heat will really be an issue. With temperatures approaching the lower 90s, you’ll want to get any strenuous workouts over by the middle of the morning. The sun is up around 5 a.m., so if you can force yourself to finish that run early, you can take a nap when it’s hot later on. Sunday and Monday will still be warm over southern New England, but the coast of Maine will be particularly cool Sunday.
If you’re going beaching or boating…
Be prepared for a chill on Sunday and Monday, especially north of Boston on Sunday.
Northshore, New Hampshire Seacoast, and Maine: Tides are high at about 4 a.m. and 4 p.m. this weekend, shifting toward 6 o’clock in the morning and evening late in the weekend. Boaters need to be aware of a southerly flow of air Saturday that will shift to the northeast on Sunday.
South Shore to Nantucket Sound: Check your local tide charts for the exact time of high tides, although they will be similar to northern coastal waters. Winds will be from a southerly fetch all weekend, but may turn more southeast on Sunday as cooler air moves in.
Monday is the worst beach day of the three, with the looming chance of rain. On Monday, the best weather is likely to occur over northern New England.
If you’re playing soccer, softball, baseball, or golf…
Saturday’s forecast: Humidity hasn’t been much of a factor yet this spring, but you’ll feel it Saturday. The fields should be quite dry unless your town happens to see a quick shower.
Sunday: Once again, a few showers could pop up, especially west of Route 495, where it will be warmest.
Monday: Tropical downpours could occur if the moisture over the Atlantic is pulled northward.
If you’re gardening…
This weekend, it’s safe to plant anything you desire. Remember that the sun is very strong. The best time to plant is after 4 p.m., so that you can give your plants the cooler evening, overnight, and following morning to acclimate. Planting in the middle of the day can actually kill tender seedlings. Don’t rely on Mother Nature for water, either—overall it doesn’t appear that we are going to leave this dry pattern anytime soon. However, Monday’s rain could be beneficial if a cold front and tropical low pressure system interact in such a way as to pull the moisture north.
If you’re running errands…
Park the car in the shade this weekend and leave the windows open just a bit. The heat on Saturday means the interior of vehicles left in the sunshine could reach well over 100 degrees! Use the middle of the day, when it’s warmest, to do your errands, and spend the morning, late afternoon, and evening enjoying the weather.
If you’re watching a parade…
The Red Sox are out of town this weekend, but there are a lot of parades happening for Memorial Day. There is a likelihood of showers during the time these are taking place, so bring your umbrella and check to be sure your local parade hasn’t been postponed.
You can follow Dave Epstein on Twitter @growingwisdom.