Region is caught in a pickle
The battle between cold and warm continue over the North American continent and New England appears to be in cross hairs of it over Memorial Day Weekend. Six upper level lows are sandwiched in between three strong ridges, and the result is a frontal boundary that appears to wobble over New England beginning Friday for northern and eastern Maine, then sagging south and westward for Saturday and the rest of the weekend.
The weekend does not appear to be a total loss. Showers appear light to moderate at times, but scattered and intermittent. It all depends on region and time of day. For those that are camping, expect shower activity at night Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Dry times indeed
As stated with regularity this spring, wildfire concerns have ran high due to the lack of any meaningful rainfall. With the foliage blooming, it calms the threat a bit, but much of the region is still very dry.
The only area where rainfall has kept close to normal in May is that in Houlton where they are currently running 0.09" deficit. Frenchville (-1.03"), Augusta (-1.64"), and Portland (-2.09") are the state's driest areas that have any long term recorded history. In fact, if the month ended today, this would be the second driest May on record for Maine's largest city with only 0.75" of rainfall recorded at the Jetport.
The region could use a good soaker. We'll have to watch the Gulf of Mexico for next week to see if the area can tap into some of that moisture. The shower activity over Maine this weekend will bring some rain, but may not make much of a dent in the current monthly shortfall.
Soggy for much of the Eastern United States
Rainfall total idea for the eastern half of the country through the weekend shows heavy rain over the southeast from tropical influence. A disturbance is being monitored by the National Hurricane Center for possible development. At this point, it appears that it is more of monsoon rain maker than anything else. With the frontal boundary meandering over New England, there is a chance for some beneficial rain. This idea may be a touch overdone, but 1/4"-3/4" is a reasonable total for much of the state between Friday and Monday evening.
5-Day Outlook - Coastal Plain
It will feel like summer Friday with widespread 80s. With dew points in the upper 50s / low 60s, it could feel a touch humid in areas, but generally warm and comfortable. Saturday, the warm area appears to be eastern Maine where the sun breaks out, whereas southern areas will stay on the cool side (50s / 60s) and deal with showers activity. Off and on showers will persist as the frontal boundary hangs around through the remainder of the weekend.
5-Day Outlook - North Country
Thursday will be touch cooler for the north as clouds dominate the skyline with a weak boundary sliding southeastward from Quebec. Friday will be showery for the north, with much of the western mountains staying dry. That equation flips on Saturday, with cooler, damp conditions for western areas, where The County stays dry. Off and on showers for both regions are possible the remainder of the weekend.
As always, please consult with NWS Caribou for eastern and northern Maine, and NWS Gray for western & southern Maine for official forecasts and bulletins.
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More beneficial rain on the way
The area was able to get some benefit of shower activity over the weekend, and there is more on the way for Tuesday into Wednesday. As the foliage continues to grow in, the fire threat will gradually diminish toward the weekend, which is good news for campers and hikers that are planning to get out and enjoy the long weekend.
Tuesday won't be a total loss as showers should hold off until around noon over south and western areas, and then work northeastward in the afternoon. Northern Maine should see most of the daylight on the dry end with showers reaching there by late afternoon / early evening.
Wednesday sees showers slowly tapering from southwest to northeast during the morning, ending roughly late morning to mid-afternoon over northern and eastern areas.
Memorial Day Weekend Watch
This loop represents humidity in the air over the North American continent through Monday evening. This is shows the pattern extremely well. The browns and grays identify dry air, the other colors represent increased moisture. The loops shows the uptick of humidity with the Tuesday / Wednesday system, followed by drier air for Thursday. Humidity increases Friday into Saturday as showers are expected once again, followed by drier air settling in for Sunday into Monday.
This is the GFS model idea for what could happen here. There are discrepancies in model ideas for the second half of the weekend in regards to the movement of the frontal boundary over the region. The European model keeps the moisture and rain threat in the forecast through Monday. Important to note that the European model has done poorly over our region beyond five days. Given that recent performance, I tend to side with the GFS at this point. The GFS has been the better of the two models in the 5-7 day range. We can't take the forecast for second half of the weekend to the bank yet, but I like the chances that Sunday and Monday will be decent weather days.
5-Day Outlook for the north country
High temperatures for Tuesday and Wednesday will be dependent on where one is in the north. Tuesday will be warmer for the Crown since showers won't arrive until later, and the mercury could climb there into the low 70s. For Wednesday, it's the opposite, with cooler temperatures north and warmer temperatures over the western mountains. A weak disturbance brings more clouds than sun for Thursday, then showers return to start the holiday weekend.
5-Day Outlook for the coastal plain
With showers ending Wednesday morning, temperatures should tick up the 70s much of the region, with far eastern areas staying cooler in the upper 60s. Friday will feel like summer with 80s possible for much of the southwest interior, cooler DownEast. I expect humidity will also build Friday as a warm front approaches from the southwest.
Official forecasts from NWS Gray for western and southern Maine and NWS Caribou for eastern and northern Maine.
Thanks as always for your support!
Frost potential Friday & Saturday morning
The calendar may read mid-May but the current pattern of the atmosphere could care less. High pressure moves southeastward from Quebec and settles in overnight Thursday into Friday morning. There may be a bit of a breeze and enough of it to prevent frost from forming, but it would be wise to cover up the plants over the interior Thursday night. As high pressure takes over for the day on Friday, there is a better chance for frost to develop Friday night into Saturday morning. After that, overnight temps moderate to warmer levels as we head into next week.
Watching The Tropics
The North Atlantic hurricane season is upon us and guidance has been sniffing around with different scenarios in the past week. As we see in winter with doomsday model snowfall outputs which spread around on social media, this game gets played in the summer with potential tropical events.
There is no question that the pattern is conducive for some sort of tropical system to develop in coming days. Warm sea surface temperatures and wind patterns over the tropics are certainly there. It is definitely something to keep an eye on for those with interests in the south. Whether or not any feature can make it north, time will tell. The Bermuda High appears more prevalent in guidance ideas than in times past, which is an indicator for a warmer trend for northeast region. It's that high that brings not only the warmth, but also humidity.
For now, model ideas are but science fiction until a storm pieces together. It's buyer beware for those social mediums that display gloom and doom. Chose your sources wisely. The best source is checking in with The National Hurricane Center.
Five Day Outlook - South and East
For Friday, it will likely be the tale of the shorelines versus the interior coastal plain temperature wise. The immediate coast may struggle to reach 60°, and areas like Rockland may have a hard time reaching the mid-50s. Showers arrive Saturday from southwest to northeast, with steadier rain arriving in the afternoon (south) and evening (east). After the warm front passes through, there may be a few showers early Sunday, but the sun should come out in areas and generally be a fair day. Shower return Sunday evening as a cold front sweeps through, ending early Monday. Another system approaches from the west Tuesday into Wednesday.
Five Day Outlook - Mountains and North
For the north country, outside of frost/freeze threat through Saturday morning, the trend is quiet and cool. Showers arrive Saturday afternoon in the mountains, and in the evening for the far north. Northern areas will have a decent day overall to start the weekend. Steadier rain arrives for all areas Saturday night, and there may be a few lingering showers into Sunday morning. There appears to be a bit of a break Sunday before the cold front arrives Sunday afternoon into the evening, bringing another round of shower activity. The first of the week appears dry and comfortable, with the next rain maker arriving Tuesday night into Wednesday.
As always, stay up to date with the National Weather Service in Gray for western and southern Maine and the National Weather Service in Caribou for eastern and northern areas.
I have a bit of family business to attend to on Friday and Saturday. I will do my best to do a short term update at the very least either on Twitter or on Facebook pending on the time I have.
Thanks as always for your support!
Beneficial rain to help reduce fire threat
Outside of a chance of a sprinkle / shower in northern areas Wednesday evening, the state appears dry until Saturday. As high pressure that keeps the region quiet for the remainder of the week slides offshore, a southwest flow develops and brings showers to the state Saturday in the form of a warm front, with a trailing cold front bringing another round for Sunday.
While the timing may not be great for weekend plans, the two systems will deliver some much needed rainfall for the parched region, helping to quell the wildfire threat and assist gardeners as they start the seasonal crops.
The weekend won't be a total washout
Saturday daytime appears to be the damper one of the two for southern and central areas, with showers arriving in northern areas towards evening. As the warm frontal boundary moves northeast, a trailing cold front approaches the region for Sunday, with the steadier rain occurring Sunday night, ending early Monday.
Mountains & North 5 Day Outlook
The main concern for the north country will be the frost threat for the remaining mornings of the work week. Overnight temps modify by the weekend. High temperatures will range in the 60s +/- for the entire region through the next five days.
I can't rule out an early morning shower for Sunday, and a hit or miss shower in the early afternoon. Showers appear to become more numerous as Sunday evening approaches.
South and East Outlook
Temperatures that resemble something close to early summer are on tap for Thursday, then take a dip through the first half of the weekend. From Sunday onward, the daily highs spring back up to the 70s. Shoreline areas may see cooler temperatures from an onshore breeze late in the week.
Southern and eastern zones may see some shower activity late in the day Sunday into early Monday morning, with increasing sun to start the work week.
For the latest official forecast information, please check in with NWS Gray for southern and western Maine, and NWS Caribou for eastern and northern Maine.
Feel free to follow me on the Pine Tree Weather Facebook page and on my Twitter account.
I will do my best to provide updates as we head into the weekend.
Thanks as always for your support!
Best chance for severe storms south
This is shaping up to be one of those days where guidance gives strong hints but actual results may vary. A strong cold front is bearing down on the region. Ahead of it comes the humid air which will advance northeast and bring fuel for thunderstorm activity. How far north the humid air penetrates in conjunction with how much sun will get out after the initial wave skirts through the region midday will tell the tale on late afternoon storm threats.
SPC Outlook... subject to change
There is no question that the MidAtlantic and southwest New England is likely to have a rough afternoon. There is a very good chance for supercells to develop which would bring frequent lightning, damaging wind, hail, flash flooding and tornado potential. Again, how far north into Maine this creeps is to be determined.
Guidance is more or less in agreement of the first wave pushing through the region early in the afternoon. It also suggests that the sun could peek out in southwest areas roughly in the 2:00 - 5:00 range. This is especially concerning for Southern Oxford, Androscoggin, Cumberland, York, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Waldo, Knox and Kennebec Counties. If the sun can get out and heat the low levels of the atmosphere up, it will provide fuel to strong to severe storms to develop through early evening when the front moves offshore.
Rain dependent on storm formation
There is a good chance that most of the region sees some rain out of this, which is necessary at this point. Anytime strong to severe storms form, there is always a threat for locally higher amounts of rainfall. There will be a chance for localized flash flooding as a result of very heavy rain and a dry soil combination. While the greatest threat will be for the southwest part of the state, the afternoon sun will dictate how much further north and east that threat may occur.
Eye to the sky, put your ears on, and stay informed
Given the scenario, southern areas could be upgraded from minimal impact to marginal threat as far as Storm Prediction Center's forecast criteria goes. This is one of those days where the forecast could turn into "nowcast" meaning warnings could be issued on an as need basis.
Understand that there is a threat here. Conditions can change in a hurry. Don't be fooled to think that severe weather isn't possible. Stay on alert. Stay updated. Take shelter if necessary. When thunder roars, head indoors.
Links to watch for the day
No burning... period.
This is just not the weekend to contemplate ANY burning of brush whether from clean ups or recreational no matter how tempting it may be. In fact, any burning should be held off until rain comes roughly midweek. Stay in touch with the Maine Forest Service for the latest on when burn permits will be issued again.
By-in-large, a dry weekend ahead
What showers come on Saturday are likely to be scattered and light, and for the areas that get them, it won't amount to much. This NAM idea for projected radar may be a touch overdone. A lot of dry air around may eat up what little rain is expected, outside of a few drops. For the mountains, north and east, sun appears to be the main feature with a few clouds from the disturbance passing to the south. York County will have the best chance for brief shower, but otherwise, most the rest of southern areas may see a sprinkle or a light, spotty, short lived rain.
With the breeze, wildfire concerns continue
The northwest wind that has brought the low humidity to the region shifts to the south on Saturday as the disturbance passes to the south. Although it may not rain, there appears to be an uptick of humidity which will help curb the fire threat a bit. I still expect high fire danger for much of the state, and that threat could be elevated at any time.
The breeze on Sunday appears to range from the west / southwest over interior areas, and onshore from the south along the coast.
Cool for Saturday, milder temps Sunday and Monday
It'll be a crisp start for the state on Saturday. Anyone with any early season planting or floral concerns should cover up or bring inside.
Generally, it will be a cool day overall for the state. The highest temperatures occur where the sun gets out, and the best chance of that is over eastern areas.
We'll have frost concerns again Saturday night into Sunday morning. Outside of the immediate shoreline, there is a risk for frost. Again, cover up the plants or bring them in.
Temperatures begin to moderate Sunday, with many areas 10° warmer than Saturday. Afternoon sea breeze will cool the shorelines. All in all, a nice day to celebrate Mothers Day.
As folks head out the door Monday morning, there will be little frost concerns for most of the state. Folks in the mountains and north that are well sheltered may have to make a judgement call Sunday night on any plants they have going. Generally it appears that 40s will be the rule for much of the region.
Monday appears to be another nice day, with temperatures rising up a bit more. Expect the shorelines to be cooler with a sea breeze once again.
When will we see rain again?
The region is more or less stuck in a quasi-stationary front pattern for the first half of the week. High pressure to the east may tap into some moisture from the south and set up a frontal boundary for some shower activity Tuesday night into Wednesday. The front appears to lurk fairly close to the coast, and with a bit of a traffic jam over the Atlantic, it may stall. Stay tuned for updates on that.
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