Fickle weather in early spring is part of living in New England.
Spring generally leans cold or warm, and this year overall we are running mild. Last March, the average temperature was about 5 degrees below the 30-year normal. This March, we running over 4 degrees above the same 30-year average. There’s been nearly a 10-degree swing between March 2015 and March 2016—more evidence of just how variable the third month of the year can be.
Wet start to the work week
This week, we will start on the chilly side of the equation, and there will be some rain. The rain will begin during the first part of the morning Monday and then come to an end before sunset. I am expecting about half an inch of rain, although some areas with heavier downpours may approach an inch. Temperatures will be cool, and it will feel raw all day. It won’t be the kind of day you are going to want to be outside working.
The rest of the week features a warming trend, and you might be tempted to think true spring has arrived. By Thursday afternoon, your thermometer might be approaching the middle and upper 60s. The record high for March in Boston is 89 degrees, set on the final day of the month during 1998, another El Nino year.
Rapid changes in temperature
There are two cold fronts in our weather future. Front number one will come through the area on Friday and will be followed by typical early April temperatures. Highs on Saturday will reach the lower 50s. On Sunday, a much stronger arctic front pushes through and the floodgates open up for a blast of cold air from the north.
This cold air mass has been well advertised by the models for two weeks and is still generally on target. The 8-14 day outlook from NOAA clearly shows the odds of it being colder during the period April 3-9 are quite high.
A freeze in early April isn’t that unusual, but with the mild winter we just had and March averaging so warm, some flower buds have opened up much sooner than would typically be the case. Depending on the extent of the coming cold, there could be some damage to these flower buds. We won’t know the exact forecast low temperatures for another five days, but some early indications suggest lower 20s won’t be out of the question. The record lows for April 3-9 are around 20 degrees.
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