May-like warmth followed by showers and colder air

Spring can be a wild season with hyper-fluctuations in temperature and precipitation. While you might hear the media going into overdrive about snow, tornadoes and record heat, it’s all part of the normal atmospheric transitional process taking the northern hemisphere from winter to summer. Residents of Denver, Colorado have gone from being poolside to shoveling in 24 hours! The snow totals out there have been quite high in some locations.

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Here in New England we have just experienced a weekend where Saturday was warm with mainly sunny skies, followed by a damp and raw Sunday, at least to start. Yesterday, the boundary between the warm May-like air and a March-like chill was close enough to bring some morning rain and clouds. While it did take a while, temperatures eventually reached close to 70 over interior areas as clear skies finally took over. The temperature spread in Massachusetts yesterday around 4PM was over 20 degrees.


Today, the same frontal boundary is slicing the area in two. Check out the temperature gradient of over 20 degrees in about as many miles this morning. The map below shows just how impressive this gradient is as I write.
I’ll be updating the forecast on Twitter @growingwisdom.

Monday temps.png

During the day, the front responsible for the May-March contrast will slowly move northward. This means the trend will be for everyone to get into the milder air as each hour passes. Sunshine will be abundant and winds will increase from the southwest.

new england temps.png

A cold front will be slowly pushing eastward today. As the front clashes with the warm air along the east coast some severe weather is likely. There are already tornado warnings across parts of Mississippi. To the west of the cold front very cold Canadian air has pushed south into the heart of Texas. There are freeze warnings up for much Oklahoma where farmers are well into planting season. We’ll have to wait a few days to know what damage, if any occurred to various crops in this area.
As the front marches east tomorrow rain will break out in New England. Cold fronts in the position and configuration of this one generally bring showery rains and the chance of thunder. While you will see rain in the forecast for Tuesday, it won’t be a washout.
I expect tomorrow to be mild and have a touch of that humid feeling in the air.

forecast map.gif

Showers are going to occur and when they do there might be a downpour or two. The chance of rain is greatest between 2PM and 11PM. These are the hours you will most likely get wet. I am looking for around a half inch of rain from this system. Some areas could see an inch if you get the heaviest downpours.
Temperatures will take a dramatic tumble over night Tuesday and by Wednesday morning it will be just above freezing or over 40 degrees colder than this afternoon. The chill in the air continues for a few days with highs only in the 40s through Thursday and near 50 for Friday.
There may be some more rain shower on Saturday, but Sunday is looking better and milder.
Marathon Monday
While still a week away there are already some trends developing for Monday. First, it doesn’t look warm. Having a Patriots Day when it hits 80F isn’t good for the runners and can even be too warm for spectators. Currently, it appears highs will be in the 50s after starting in the 40s, nearly ideal for running. I don’t see any rain now, but there is the chance of rain Tuesday the 21st and the timing of that system could change. It’s a week away, but that’s my early forecast.


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