April can be a frustrating month.
In southern New England, there’s often some snow. In towns within 20 miles of the Vermont or New Hampshire border, the ground can be covered in the white stuff. And along the coast, the region’s famed sea breeze often makes things feel less than spring-like, despite of what the calendar says.
We’ve seen some fluctuations in the weather since the first day of spring, from 70-degree warmth to snow. There have also been a lot of days with wind, including some bone-chilling mornings. But that’s about to change.
Tuesday’s rainfall won’t amount to much. Most of you will see a quarter to perhaps half an inch of rainfall, which is enough to keep the plants happy.
Once this system moves by, high pressure will build in the area and protect us from any weather systems through the weekend and into next week. Expect light winds for several days, and a sea breeze may keep the coast cooler than the rest of the region.
I expect temperatures to fall into the 30s to near 40 at night. There might be a frost or light freeze, but I don’t foresee any widespread sub-30 degree weather ahead.
This stretch of fine weather might get you thinking about planting a few things. Seeds of cool weather crops need to germinate in soil that’s at least 40 degrees. Some seeds, like kale, collards and lettuce, prefer temperatures around 70 degrees for optimal germination. There’s no way our soil will get that warm in the next few days, so you could cover it with a clear plastic sheet to heat it up. Just be sure you remove the plastic as soon as the seeds put out roots or you could cook them.
Peas, radish, carrots, choys, and kale should be able to germinate if you want to plant directly into the ground. The map below shows the expected soil temperatures for later this week. It’s still on the cool side, but warming slowly.
The next chance of widespread rain doesn’t appear to come for another eight to 10 days. There may be a few sprinkles from a back door cold front Monday, but temperatures look rather comfortable for spectator and runner alike at the Boston Marathon.
It appears we have finally turned the corner to a more enjoyable April weather pattern. You’ll be able to get outside a lot over the next week to 10 days, which is something that’s not always available in early spring.