The ante has been raised
From Storm Prediction Center:
Day 1 Convective Outlook
NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
1112 AM CDT Sat Jun 30 2018
Valid 301630Z - 011200Z
...THERE IS AN ENHANCED RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS OVER PARTS OF
THE CENTRAL PLAINS...AND OVER PORTIONS OF NEW YORK...VERMONT...NEW
Scattered severe thunderstorms are expected from the central Plains
to the Upper Midwest this afternoon and evening, as well as across
parts of northern New York and northern New England.
Fast west-northwesterly flow aloft extends across Ontario/Quebec
into the northeast states today, with the core of 500mb flow
exceeding 60 knots. Water vapor imagery shows multiple subtle
embedded shortwave troughs within the flow that will track into
NY/New England later today, posing a risk of severe storms. The
scenario with highest potential is for fast-moving cluster(s) of
storms currently north/northwest of Georgian Bay to track eastward
into parts of NY/VT/NE/ME this afternoon and early evening.
Forecast soundings in this region show fast, deep westerly flow and
moderate CAPE values. A severe bowing complex is possible, capable
of rather widespread strong/damaging wind gusts. Therefore, have
upgraded to ENH risk for this region.
The weather could get real interesting for the southwestern half of the state this evening. It's rather rare we get an "enhanced" outlook, so it is important to define it:
The chance for a severe outbreak is good. The players are all on the table. Instability from the upper level energy riding along the heat dome entering an area with plenty of humidity and convective energy (CAPE) that is just looking for a spark to touch off the gas can.
That spark comes this evening as the sun goes down. Cold air moves in aloft against the very warm surface temperatures. Heat rises and with the upper level energy, then storms break out.
It's these bow structure type set ups that are the most concerning. These types of storms bring damaging wind, flooding downpours, plenty of lightning, potential for large hail and could spin off tornadoes.
While the percentages appear low, it is this type of forecast that makes it a bit ominous. It is safe to say there is a high chance for scattered areas of wind damage. This could cause damage to structures and to power lines. The last time the region had an outbreak like this a year ago, it turned into a mess is in areas. This has potential to do that also.
Again, it's rare that we see 15% hail potential over the region. That is a clear indicator that some scattered areas could see damage from hail stones in the 1-2" range.
Isolated tornado(es) possible
Anytime there is a bow structured system, there is always the chance for funnel cloud rotation to occur.
What you need to know
What is to understand that there is POTENTIAL for this to happen. There are enough indications that it COULD occur. These are complex systems, much has to go right for it to happen. It would be wise to PREPARE by tidying up the yard of anything that could go airborne in case it does happen. I suspect severe thunderstorm watches could be posted at anytime in regards to this event. Understand that a WATCH means possible and a WARNING means likely.
If you are reading this from Jackman to Bar Harbor and all points west inside the state boundary, you need to stay on alert. These night time storms of this type can be dangerous, and that is what is going on here.
Bust potential with these systems can be quite high, but betting on a bust could cause injury or death if on the wrong end of the bet.
The storm threat will diminish as we head into daylight on Sunday morning.
Stay in touch with the National Weather Service in Gray for western and southern Maine and Caribou for eastern and northern Maine.
Prepare, and stay safe.
The heat of summer
My hope is everyone is prepared for the heat on the way. Although there is a slight modification to the forecast that I will discuss, it will get uncomfortable for many. Check in with your family, friends, neighbors and keep close watch on young children, our beloved senior citizens, and the pets. I suspect cooling centers will move into operation as we head into next week. The ocean and lakes are still on the chilly side, but this burst of heat will raise the water temperatures to more comfortable levels.
Changes to the forecast
The pattern the northeast region has dealt with for much of the spring has been cold air lurking over eastern Canada. It has suppressed the heat in the south, which has put the region in a west to east zonal flow. The results have been generally dry conditions and cool to seasonable temperatures.
Cold air works the same in summer as it does in winter. While not as cold, it does fool models a bit, and it's done so again as we head into the weekend.
The blistering hot air over the southeast is trying to nose into the northeast, but it's running into a road block. Winter like cold near Greenland continues to spin around and is preventing it's advancement. I feel kind of foolish not to pick up on this sooner than I did. This is going to be a factor as we head into the weekend.
Essentially Maine ends up on the fringe of the heat dome. The cold to the north is strong enough to keep the heat to the south to start off the weekend. Since we're on the outer boundary, we'll have to deal with a couple of disturbances Saturday and Sunday that may bring some scattered showers and perhaps a thunderstorm to the north and mountains, and a few may impact eastern and southern areas.
This European model idea shows the two disturbances working through the region. While it looks a bit on the rainy side, this isn't really going to amount to a whole lot. Another front approaches the state Tuesday which may bring a few scattered showers and perhaps a rumble to the north country, but it loses moisture as it heads for the coast.
The heat arrives in earnest statewide by Tuesday night. The cold to the north retreats, the pattern flattens out, allowing the heat dome to move northeast and give us a hot Fourth of July holiday.
Let's talk temperatures
I've mentioned the fact that coastal areas will be on the cooler side in my previous updates. I wanted to take a look at this a bit further. What I am presenting here are ensemble mean ideas from the European model. This does not include the heat index. This is also for discussion purposes only.
Let's take a look at the southwest coast, first/
Sanford tends to be one of the hot spots in the state when we get these kind of warm ups, and this one is no different. The mean temperature appears to hover around the 90° mark, and with the humidity, it will likely push triple digits.
Go 20 miles east, we find a different story...
In Kennebunkport, the coast is cooler thanks to the ocean temperatures in the 50s and the influence of an onshore wind flow. Time will tell, but I think these temperatures are bit overdone. Clouds from a disturbance passing through on Sunday may cut these temperatures down also.
Now, we'll head up the coast...
Bangor shows the real heat not arriving until midweek. Regardless, it will be plenty uncomfortable with the humidity elevated.
South of there in Trenton...
Outside of it being on the sticky side, temperatures appear to be much cooler than the city to the north.
The place to be if you want to escape the heat all together...
Rockland. Now I understand there is a discrepancy between the airport where this idea comes from and downtown, but the islands along the MidCoast will be the coolest of anywhere in the state due to the onshore air flow over the next several days.
Final area to look at, Greenville...
While it will take a couple of days for the heat to build into Moosehead country, it will certainly be a bit toasty for a few days.
To tie all of this together, ensemble ideas are not without their own errors. Some areas could be warmer, others cooler, pending on the day, cloud cover and wind pattern. Also note that the state becomes cooler after the Fourth heading into the following weekend. The mountains and north will see some drier air work in which will bring more comfortable sleeping conditions next weekend. With lows in the 60s and dew points right around the same temperature point, it will be sticky at night for most areas in the foreseeable future.
Regional outlook through Tuesday
Each day brings the risk of a shower or thunderstorm to all areas of the state, but the north country has a better chance. Temperatures reflected do not include the heat index, so it could be warmer pending on the amount of sun. By Tuesday, the state appears to be roasting from the south north to the Crown.
Stay in touch with the National Weather Service in Caribou for eastern and northern Maine, and Gray for western and southern areas for the latest forecast, bulletins, and advisories.
Given my schedule, I do not plan on issuing another full update until Monday.
Have a great weekend, and thank you for your support!
It's going to feel like summer real soon
For those that love the heat and humidity of summer, your time has come. A warm front approaching from the south and west on Thursday will certainly bring a tropical feel to the region that is likely to hang on through the Fourth and beyond. The cool, comfortable nights without fans and air conditioners are on hiatus until further notice. One upside in all of this, rain chances increase.
Let's talk about rain
The last week has been helpful to cut rainfall deficits in parts of the western mountains and central parts in the state. The southwestern part of the state along with the far north remains on the lean side of things.
The only recording station showing a rain surplus for the month is in Bangor at the airport. Bangor and Caribou are the only areas showing a surplus for the year. Recent rains have cut deficits statewide. This system on the way will help cut those deficits more.
There is a good chance that areas of the region will pick up 1-2"+ of rainfall through Friday morning. The warm front is being enhanced with tropical moisture, which will bring a soaker to much of the state. I will also point out that latest operational guidance on Wednesday has the higher amounts in the western mountains and DownEast areas. Some areas will come in higher, others lower. Isolated areas could see 3-4"+ from this event.
Due to the tropical nature of the system, there are flash flooding concerns. When you come across a flooded roadway, turn around, and don't drown. It's not worth damage to your vehicle, personal injury, or loss of life. There is a threat for some embedded thunderstorms. Severe chances appear isolated. Expect gusty winds, downpours and lightning. When you hear thunder roar, get indoors.
Lightning Safety Awareness Week
Every year there are incidents reported where people are injured or killed as direct results of lightning strikes. Maine receives approximately 40,000 lightning strikes during the year, according to National Weather Service data.
This is the time of year where people love to be outside to enjoy the warmer conditions. With tropical air around that is on the way, there is always a threat for thunderstorms to develop, and could happen rapidly. It is wise to keep an eye on the sky, and at the sound of the first rumble, seek shelter as quickly as possible. If on a boat, get to shore immediately. For more information including safety tips, please consult the Lightning Safety Tips and Resources pages from the National Weather Service.
Be smart, don't be another statistic.
Pine Tree Weather is proud to be Weather Nation Ready Ambassador for the state of Maine.
After the rain, here comes the heat
I pass this around on Twitter annually which is always good for a few laughs. Our summer is a short one. With due credit to Paul Gant, the pastor at the Sea Road Christian Church in Kennebunk, he calls the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day "the fastest 90 days in Maine", and he's right on the money.
For us cold blooded types, I expect the complaint meter to increase as we head into next week.
The only item I would add to this graphic supplied by my friends at AccuWeather is to wear liberal amounts of sunscreen if you are outside. It won't take long for skin to burn. For those that have to work in these conditions, prepare appropriately. If you have held off on buying that fan or air conditioner, do it now. I suspect inventory on those items will become thin rather quickly.
While the temperature and humidity builds Friday and Saturday, the heat indices really amp up starting on Sunday.
By Monday, areas away from the coast statewide are on track to feel the full effects of the blast furnace. Triple digit "feels like" temperatures are increasingly likely for the southwest interior both days. A frontal boundary drops down from Quebec Monday afternoon, which may touch off some widely scattered showers and thunderstorms. That will help take the edge off a bit in areas where they pass through. With the dampness, expect the humidity to amp up after their passage.
If you plan on heading to the ocean beaches to escape the heat, be advised that high tide will cramp space during the 1 - 2 PM hour on Saturday and 2-3 PM hour Sunday and Monday. Plan accordingly when picking your spot, and expect plenty of company.
Regional outlook through Monday
The thunderstorm threat for northern and western areas on Friday, and statewide on Monday appear to be widely scattered, but could pack a surprise punch, so keep that in mind. As I mentioned in my previous update, I expect fog to be an early morning issue for coastal areas through the weekend. Sunday still concerns me that it may hang on for awhile. If you get to the beach and set up in a fog bank, don't be surprised. The one good thing about this heat blast is it will warm up the lakes and ocean temperatures more comfortable for swimming.
Many hazards to think about
Heat, humidity, flash flooding, lightning, and severe storm potential are all possibilities going forward. Coastal areas may have to deal with fog which may reduce visibility. These are all typical summer weather hazards we have to be considerate of here in Maine.
Have a plan in place if you are heading out. Talk about it with your family, friends, spouse or significant other. Keep an eye to the sky. Don't simply rely on the free standard weather app on the smartphone. Download one from a local news station, AccuWeather, or my personal choice is Weather Radio by WDT app for bulletins and advisories. Make sure notifications are turned on. The old reliable NOAA Weather Radio works like a charm if it is set up right, either as a stand alone or in a public safety scanner.
I am not predicting gloom and doom by mentioning this, it is just simply out of concern that all of my readers stay safe. It is the season.
As always, stay in touch with the National Weather Service in Gray for western and southern Maine and Caribou for eastern and northern areas for the latest forecasts, advisories and bulletins.
God bless you all... thanks as always for your support!
Humidity climbs through the remainder of the week
While the region has experienced a few warm days since the snow melted off, we'll add a few more over the next week. Will it be a "heat wave" (three consecutive days of 90°+)? It's possible for some interior areas. The coast is going to be challenged with a south / southeast flow which will keep the shorelines on the cool side. We're still dealing with 56° ocean along the southwest coast, and cooler DownEast. If there was a more southwest air flow, Portland and areas south along the coast would roasting, too. It does not appear to look that way at this point as high pressure offshore is predicted to be a bit too far north in the Atlantic to fry the shorelines.
We'll have rain to deal with first...
A bit more welcomed news for the abnormally dry areas of the southern and western areas as some beneficial rain is on the way. The Weather Prediction Center's idea here is a good base point for what to expect Thursday. Showers with a few thunderstorms will dominate the day. Some of the showers and storms may bring some locally heavy rain in areas as humidity increases from the southwest. That humidity will continue to build into Friday.
As the humidity gradually increases Friday, the instability created from the sun is likely to touch off some scattered showers and thunderstorms, but it does not appear to be washout of a day. Showers and storms have a better chance to form in northern and western areas, with a reduced threat south and east. High pressure then begins to build in on Saturday, bringing the heat and humidity for a visit through early next week.
How long will the heat and humidity last?
This loop indicates the warm (yellow, orange, red, brown) and the cold (blues and greens) and normal values (gray). After the cool air of Thursday exits to the north and east, the furnace pays us a visit through the weekend. Temperatures cool down somewhat as we head towards the Fourth. Another ridge forms over the Midwest and central Canada and slides eastward for the second half of the week.
It will be when that ridge approaches later on next week that we may see a bit of a break from the humidity, but it's a fair bet the region will see dew points in the 60s+ for an extended period through the following weekend.
Regional outlook through Sunday
The forecast is pretty straightforward for northern and western areas. Southern and eastern areas gets a bit tricky for the weekend. With the sultry, hot air mass building in from the southwest meeting 56° ocean or less, it brings a fog threat for coast. It will all be dependent upon the direction of the onshore wind flow. More south, fog isn't likely to hang on for very long. The more southeast, the fog hangs around. I think the former scenario works for Saturday, although I am a bit concerned for the Penobscot Bay region. Sunday, I am concerned for the entire coast line as high pressure offshore moves further to the north. Time will tell on how this is going to play out. One thing that is almost a certainty is that the coastal areas appear to be the place to go to escape the heat. Whether the sun will be out or be buried in fog for most of the day... stay tuned.
For the latest official forecasts, bulletins and advisories, please check in with the National Weather Service in Caribou for northern and eastern Maine, and Gray for western and southern areas.
Thank you as always for your support!
Weekend forecast improvement
We've certainly had worse weekends in the past few weeks. Saturday will be the better of the two days. Showers appear to hold off until afternoon for western and southern areas, and won't affect northern areas until later in the day. Sunday will be damp at times with on and off showers through the day into the evening. A generally dry pattern continues with below normal rainfall continues.
The drought area spreads
For those who have been reading along in the past few weeks, this chart from Drought Monitor should come as no surprise. I've been talking about it ad nauseam like an old 33 RPM record on a turntable with a reverse skip on it. I keep looking for indications the rain outlook going to turn around, but I am not finding it.
Drought Monitor's map looks in close similarity to National Weather Service recorded data and estimates. A good chunk of northern Maine is running at or slightly above normal since spring began, with western and southern areas dealing with a deficit. With the zonal pattern the area has been in, the results of that in this chart aren't that surprising. As with Alberta clipper systems in winter, the north benefits from moisture from Hudson Bay and/or the Great Lakes and/or the St. Lawrence River, or any combination thereof. Southern areas hardly get anything.
A look at the past 30 days show much of the state in an abnormally dry pattern, with southern and western areas seeing the driest of the conditions. Outside of what rainfall came in the shower activity this past Monday, that has been pretty much it for southern areas. Northern areas have benefited with shots of shower activity here and there, but they could certainly use more rain as growing season kicks into high gear.
Weekend showers to help
The Weather Prediction Center arm of the National Weather Service is staying consistent with it's projected rain outlook through the weekend. Only slight alterations are a bit less for the Allagash and a bit more for Washington County. The important part of this to consider is this weekends weather activity will be "scattered showers" which brings an element of pot luck with them. Some areas may see more, others less. I am still sticking with the general rough idea of 1/2" of rainfall as a basis for much of the state. We'll take every drop we can get at this point, and won't be fussy about it.
Dry times continue into early July
Every time I look at the long term outlook at times in the past couple months, the idea remains the same. Future rainfall estimates continue to appear on the lean side. As we head further into summer, expect that to continue. Conservation of ground water resources remain strongly encouraged and should continue indefinitely.
I would appreciate any of your reports of your water situation, along with any photos of rivers, lakes, brooks and streams you come across that are feeling the pain of the drought. You can post them on Facebook or send me a tweet.
Keep in mind fire danger will also be an on going concern. As the state fills up with summer residents and visitors, the temptation will be to enjoy the great weather by setting up a camp fire. Please take all precautions necessary, stay in touch with the weather forecast and check in with Maine Forest Service, local fire department, or park ranger for burn permits and regulations.
Regional outlook through Tuesday
The north country should keep patchy frost in mind Thursday night into Friday morning for well protected areas. Showers appear to hold off for northern and eastern areas Saturday until late in the day. All areas will be dealing with off and on showers for Sunday, along with a risk of a thunderstorm for western and southern areas in the afternoon. Northern and eastern areas see showers continue into Monday. Temperatures begin to build as we head into the middle part of next week.
Welcome to summer
For those who like their Maine summers with comfortable temperatures during the day, cool nights, and low humidity, you will enjoy the weather for the next week and beyond. The extreme heat and humidity appears to stay well south. We'll get some humidity rises here and there as frontal boundaries work through, but the "weather you can wear" does not appear to be an issue through the rest of June.
The big picture
Surface map idea of the European model through early Tuesday presents a few showers working through the state Wednesday night into Thursday morning. As that clears out, the rest of the work week appears dry and pleasant. Clouds will be on the increase Friday afternoon and overspread the state Friday night into Saturday morning. A warm front approaches the state Saturday which will kick off some shower activity. A cold front approaches the region on Sunday into Monday, bringing another round of showers, and perhaps a thunderstorm for western and southern areas Sunday afternoon. The front slowly pushes through the area on Monday, with clearing skies into Tuesday.
Pattern remains zonal
We just can't seem to shake the block that has been over Greenland that has influenced our weather pattern for much of spring. Repeated weak troughs continue to rotate through the area offering little moisture and keeping temperatures on the cool side. We may see a brief shift in the pattern as a ridge builds in for the middle part of next week. The absence of a Bermuda High will keep the heat and humidity to the south, even with the ridge taking over temporarily.
Beneficial rain appears possible
The Weather Prediction Center idea for rainfall over the next week appears encouraging for western and southern areas that are dealing with drought conditions. While this is a general idea of what to expect, results will likely vary. The Wednesday morning European operation run was a bit more bullish on heavier amounts of rain for the coastal plain. I've seen this movie before, so it's difficult for me to get too excited about it. If much of drought area can pick up a half inch or so Saturday through Monday, anything beyond that will be a bonus.
Regional outlook through Monday
Folks in the Allagash and protected valleys of the western mountains may see a touch of frost Thursday night into Friday. While showers are in the forecast through the weekend, I do not expect it to be a total washout. Folks in the western and southern areas may see an isolated thunderstorm Sunday afternoon as humidity ticks up a bit and any sun may fuel a few pop up storms. Severe weather is unlikely at this point. The afternoons on both Saturday and Sunday are likely to have more shower activity than the mornings. Pending on how the front progresses will dictate how Monday plays out.
For official forecasts, bulletins and advisories, please stay in touch with the National Weather Service in Gray for western and southern areas, or Caribou for eastern and northern areas. Feel free to give the Pine Tree Weather Facebook page a "like" for additional information there, and follow me on Twitter for more snippets of weather related items of interest.
Thanks as always for your support!
A dry weekend that will feel like summer
Friday starts off on the cool side, especially for the far northeastern areas of the state, but temperatures will rise steadily all weekend. It is shaping up to be a classic Maine summer weekend, with comfortable temperatures, dry conditions, and respectable humidity levels.
If you're headed to the seaside beaches...
We're in the heart of the new moon phase, and astronomical tides are expected to bring some minor coastal flooding during the overnight high tide cycles. Daytime cycles are also running high, which may cramp on some real estate on the beaches in the afternoon over the next three days. Just be aware that the tide will be on the way in as the morning into early afternoon progresses, then will recede in the mid-afternoon and evening hours. Plan your spot accordingly.
Latest Drought Monitor tells us the obvious
No real changes to this week's Drought Monitor report. The MidCoast and southwestern areas of the state are in "abnormally dry" conditions based on water table monitors in the region. As I have said in previous updates, conservation of ground water supplies should continue for the foreseeable future.
Dry weekend increases fire danger
This broken record keeps skipping on the turntable due to the dry conditions, but treat this as yet another public service reminder to check in with the Maine Forest Service, local fire departments and park rangers for burn permits and regulations through the weekend. Calls to fire departments and to the Forest Service for unattended camp fire burns and mulch fires from careless cigarette disposal are continuing on a steady basis. If you see some burning that is going on that may get out of hand, report it to the authorities to deal with it as soon as possible. Hikers and campers should make sure fires are completely extinguished when they are no longer necessary. Let's all do our part to protect the beauty of the state.
Humidity rises later into the weekend
The browns and blues indicating a dry air column will be replaced with tropical moist yellows and reds by the time Monday arrives. This will be a reminder that summer weather does indeed exist and that the season is due to arrive later next week. This round will be short lived as a cold front sweeps the sultry air out of the state Monday into Tuesday. It will be that approaching front where there is cause for concern.
Severe storm potential for Monday
With the increase in air moisture comes with it the first round of "feels like" temperatures hitting well into the 90s and could tip the century mark in southern areas Monday afternoon.
Regardless of where you may be in the Pine Tree State on Monday, it is very likely to be a sticky affair with dew points temperatures in the 60s to low 70s. This will make air quality poor, cause heat fatigue and oppressive temperatures.
Then, the front approaches in the afternoon...
For now, it's a timing game for severe weather potential Monday afternoon. With the high heat and humidity, plenty of moisture, and gas for thunderstorms (Convective Available Potential Energy, shown above as CAPE) in place, all that is somewhat unknown is when the front descends through the region. At this point, it appears to be Monday afternoon. Western, eastern and southern areas appear at risk for severe storms as it appears for now. As the weekend progresses, guidance will get a better handle on the timing of the cold front. It would be wise to stay tuned to the forecast over the next few days.
Regional Outlook through Tuesday
Again, it will be great weekend statewide. While the idea of severe weather on Monday is concerning, one upside of that is the potential for some much needed rainfall. Looking ahead, it appears to be a dry week ahead with very little rainfall expected until perhaps Friday / Saturday.
For the latest official forecasts, bulletins and advisories, please check in with the National Weather Service in Caribou for northern and eastern Maine, and Gray for western and southern areas.
Thank you as always for your support!
Bulk of precipitation stays north
This idea has been pretty consistent for the last three days. Northern areas are likely to receive most of the rainfall, while parched areas of the south deal with pot luck showers that may bring some measurable rain in some areas, while others get shut out. The further south in the state, the risk of a shower becomes more isolated, where to the north, it is a foregone conclusion.
After showers clear early Friday, a nice weekend ahead
The zonal pattern the area has more or less been in since March continues. While the benefit is a nice Maine summer (low humidity, near average temperatures), it certainly does not help the southern and western areas with rainfall deficits. The next chance for shower activity comes again Sunday night into Monday. Humidity levels are expected to rise Sunday evening ahead of the frontal boundary, but will exit to the east almost as quickly as it builds in come Monday afternoon.
Regional Outlook Through Monday
After the front clears Thursday, cold air behind it sets up the possibility for frost in protected areas Friday morning. Guidance is hinting at widespread 80° degree temperatures on Sunday. I am not quite buying that just yet for the northern two thirds of the state, with cloud cover being imperative to reach that level. Monday appears damp for now, but this pattern is somewhat similar to the system coming through on Thursday. The clipper type systems tend to bring more precipitation to the north, while fizzling to the south as the front runs out of moisture.
Stillness of the sunrise from Cape Porpoise
Looking at longer term guidance, summer appears to arrive for the region on time (June 21st) as a warm up appears on the way. Precipitation chances are the big question mark at this point. I am not seeing much in the way of humidity from the southwest that hangs around the region for very long. Without that precipitation hose, it's going to be tough to bring any widespread, beneficial rainfall to the areas that need it the most.
Reports of mulch and brush fires are increasing, again. Campers, hikers and bonfire enthusiasts need to pay close attention to the Maine Forest Service and/or local fire departments for permit information indefinitely. Use extreme care with any open burning.
For official forecasts, advisories and bulletins, please check in with the National Weather Service offices in Gray for western and southern areas, and Caribou for northern and eastern areas.
Thanks as always for you support!
Northern areas to get beneficial rainfall
The Crown of Maine will get a decent rainfall Wednesday and Thursday as a frontal boundary becomes quasi-stationary over the state. Western and eastern areas are expected to see some shower activity which will bring some rain of benefit. As for southern areas, it will amount to "pot luck" showers and thunderstorms to determine whether or not the crops, flowers and lawns will need a watering.
Isolated thunderstorms possible
The Storm Prediction Center outlook for Wednesday indicates the potential for strong to severe weather over much of New York, with the threat diminishing further to the east. The best chance for areas of Maine to experience isolated storms will be Wednesday night into the wee hours of Thursday as the warm front moves to the northeast. The best chance for storms is likely over the southern two thirds of the state, with northern areas staying on the cooler, less humid side of the front.
Showers and storms to arrive in afternoon
Outside of a brief shower possible for the far north Wednesday morning, showers and storms hold off until the afternoon for northern, western and southern areas, and evening for eastern areas. As I mentioned in the update yesterday, cold air is fooling guidance as usual, which has slowed the approach of the trailing cold front from Quebec. This has thrown off timing for precipitation development, and this model idea may also be a bit off, just so you are aware. The odds will increase as the day turns into night. I will post an update in the morning on the timing of this on the Pine Tree Weather Facebook page, with more updates on Twitter as the day unfolds.
Outlook for the weekend and into next week
After the front clears out of the area early Friday, less humid and comfortable temperatures (indicated by the red) to start the weekend is on tap. High pressure shifts offshore Saturday night. A southwest flow develops ahead of another front that approaches the region from Quebec on Sunday. Northern and western areas may see a showers in the afternoon on Sunday. The very warm, humid air arrives for Monday (indicated by the brown) as the front works to pass through as the day unfolds, bringing a risk for showers and thunderstorms statewide. Dry air and seasonable temperatures return for the middle part of the week.
Regional Outlook through Sunday
Showers and breezy conditions are likely for Wednesday and Thursday, and possible for Sunday. Folks in the far north may need to cover up plants Thursday evening in the protected valleys as frost may be possible. A sea breeze along the shorelines keeps the beaches on the cool side for Wednesday and over the weekend.
Status On Updates
Between life and a rather mundane weather pattern, I have been a bit delinquent with updating frequency. Now that we are settled into our new home, we are dealing with numerous family matters, as well as enjoying the community and the surroundings. Another thing I have been lagging on is sharing my photography when I do update. I will work on correcting both. Our weather pattern hasn't changed much, and it doesn't appear to any time soon.
The dry spring continues
Even with the March snow events, most of the state is in a deficit as far as rain totals go for the spring. As I mentioned in my update last week, this stealth drought the region is in has been going on for four years at least at this point.
This is from the archives from last year when I was discussing the drought, and the deficit for much of western, southern, and eastern areas was well documented back to 2014 at that point. The High Plains Regional Climate Center (HRPCC) data only goes back 36 months, and I am working to find data older than that.
Model ideas look good for northern Maine to get a decent charge of rain, which will fall Wednesday and Thursday this week. This Weather Prediction Center idea posted Monday morning is fairly consistent with model guidance. This also shows the frontal boundary coming in, and the tricky set up along it. There is a stark difference between the haves and the have-nots. Any deviation north or south tips the scales as far as who gets beneficial rain and who escapes with light showers. Yeah, it's "thatclose".
While the northern part of the state heads out of below normal rainfall, much of the southern part of the state continues with a dry pattern overall through much of the rest of the month. Since we are now in tropical storm season in the Northern Hemisphere, it will take some action in both the Pacific and Atlantic to throw a wrench into the upper air patterns to bring moisture to the region.
Just my humble opinion... keep conserving groundwater resources until further notice. For folks using some sort of irrigation, bet on your pumps getting a long work out. Expect fire danger to be an ongoing concern. Campers, hikers, bonfire enthusiasts, and those doing brush clean ups need to stay in touch with the Maine Forest Service and local fire departments, as well as park rangers for burn regulations. Just because it may be alright in your region today, doesn't mean it will be that way tomorrow.
The set up for rain midweek
Tuesday sees high pressure move offshore and a southwest flow develops ahead of a frontal boundary approaching from the west. Clouds appear to gradually increase during the day, with showers breaking out late Tuesday / early Wednesday. The front more or less stalls over the state and precipitation rides along it through the wee hours of Friday.
This temperature graphic shows the starkness in temperature between north and south, and also helps to explain the precipitation outlook posted above. There is a fine line in all of this. The north is likely to see the coolest of temperatures and the most rainfall from this event. How far south the beneficial rain falls is dependent upon where the front decides it wants to go. Like in winter, cold air will dictate what happens here, and also throws out the idea of a forecast bust. A bust in this case means more or less rainfall and with that, cooler or warmer temperatures. For those in western, eastern and southern areas cheering for rainfall, you'll want that bust.
Once bit of hope for southern, western and eastern areas will be that there is a chance of thunderstorms to develop along the front. This may bring some heavier rain in areas, but the threat for now appears isolated due to cloud cover. The rule of thumb for summer remains the same: if the sun gets out for any period of time, expect thunderstorms to develop. When thunder roars, head indoors.
Outlook Through Saturday
Folks in the north and west should continue to be aware of potential frost Monday night into Tuesday, and perhaps later in the week. Coastal areas can expect a sea breeze on Tuesday. Saturday appears to be a beach day for the shorelines, but the chilly ocean continues to keep the seaside areas on the cooler side.
The extended outlook calls for another nice day for Sunday, with the next potential rain maker coming in early next week.
As always, stay updated with the National Weather Service in Caribou for eastern and northern areas, and Gray for western and southern Maine for official forecasts and bulletins as necessary.
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Thank you as always for your support!
Eight year forecaster.