In the news world, expect for commentators, anchors are supposed to just report the facts and not add their own personal adjectives about the news. In the weather world, we do both. Words like great days, wonderful weather; lousy, hot, cool, cold, miserable, and fantastic, routinely enter into the lexicon of anyone reporting the weather. I’m not so sure this is avoidable; we are human with our own sense of what we like and don’t like.
A sunny day in May with a high of 75 degrees is wonderful for most people. A morning like today where it’s cool and damp isn’t considered, by most, their day of choice.
During the Great Snow Of 2015, there were some folks, perhaps even many that loved the pattern, yet few positive words where used to describe the 100 inches of snow in 6 weeks.
As we close out the third week of May later this week, the record books will reflect two facts about this period. The first, it’s been very warm. Temperatures are averaging around 5 degrees above the 30 year average. The second fact, it’s been very dry. In spite of some cities seeing a shower this month, most areas have seen almost no rain. This comes on the heels of a dry March and April.
Last week I wrote about how all the snow was so dry it didn’t give much water when it melted, this fact makes the dry weather since March 1st more problematic. We are in fact in short-term drought.
Yesterday, depending on your exact location, temperatures reached the 70s or 80s, it was sunny and winds were not an issue. I spent about 10 hours working outside, and where I was, it was hot. I didn’t enjoy all the sunshine or the warm air. For me, I wish the day had been more like today with clouds and cool condtions. I know at least one person sitting under the tent at Framingham States graduation yesterday was equally uncomfortable by the sunny warm weather.
I am fascinated by how differently we all perceive the weather. A very close friend of mine told me the other day he loved all the sunshine. I asked, “You know it does need to rain once in a while right?” He replied “of course”. I then asked, so how much dry weather would you want before it rained? He told me a month of dry weather would be good and then it can rain for a day. He wasn’t kidding.
On the other side of the coin, another close friend, who is the most avid gardener I know, was complaining to me this weekend about how the meteorologists keep saying what wonderful weather we are having or what a great week of weather lies ahead. She said these words are like nails on a chalkboard or something to that affect. This friend sees little heat devils, not sunny icons on the 7 day forecast. This month, she and others like here have been watering our gardens for two weeks and will likely see astronomical water bills this summer were this pattern to continue. For all of us, this month has been too warm and too dry.
Perhaps Some Showers
After a cool day with some breaks of sunshine, there is going to be an area of showers crossing New England Tuesday. Some areas may receive a quarter inch of rain or even more, but other spots will only see the ground become marginally wet. After this chance of rain, dry and sunny weather returns and should continue through much if not all of the holiday weekend. The map below is one models estimate of the upcoming rainfall. (Credit:WeatherBell Analytics)
My gardening self cringes at the thought of another 7 days without significant rain. However, if you have a big event, like prom, wedding or graduation, you’re probably feeling like your prayers have been answered seeing such a long stretch of sunshine.
I know it will rain again. Each morning, I run to the computer to check the 10 day model forecast. (above) For the past couple of days, there are signs we might see a wetter pattern next week. I’ve been left high and dry at the altar before by these models, I’m hoping this time they are right.
You can follow more of my musings about weather and gardening on Twitter @growingwisdom.