Warm start, thunderstorms containing heavy downpours and gusty winds Wednesday evening
A cold front will pass through Maine on Wednesday afternoon, bringing the potential for strong storms during the evening. A southwesterly flow will carry warm, moist air over much of Maine on Wednesday morning. As the front moves through in the afternoon, the moist air mass will be lifted upwards, creating an unstable environment with lots of convection. Steep lapse rates and strong wind shear set the stage for a busy evening. Storms will be quick-moving, but they could produce high wind gusts, heavy rain, and small hail. Always look out for the chance of an isolated tornado, especially in far western Maine.
Wednesday will feel like a summer day, with daytime highs reaching the mid to upper 80s across the interior. Northern areas will be in the upper 70s to low 80s. With dew points rising well into the 60s, expect humid, muggy conditions. Coupled with the chance of strong storms, Wednesday won't be the best day for outdoor activities.
This composite radar model shows the first round of storms arriving around 4pm on Wednesday. Throughout the rest of the late afternoon and evening, storms will continue to roll through much of Maine. Things should begin to settle down early Thursday morning once the cold front moves off the Atlantic coast.
Cooler on Thursday, dry conditions remain as high pressure builds
If you do not enjoy hot weather, Thursday will bring relief. The front that will pass through on Wednesday will leave temperatures much cooler. Northern areas may only reach 60F while areas further south will be in the upper 60s to lower 70s. Frost will be a concern on Thursday night and throughout the rest of the week as lows will dip into the upper 30s in the northern half of the state. High pressure will build back up, preventing more rain.
Unfortunately, the rain on Wednesday will not bring much relief to areas experiencing drought. Sinking air associated with high pressure will keep conditions dry through the rest of the work week and into Memorial Day weekend. An area of low pressure will pass to the south on Friday and Saturday, leading to some light showers and sprinkles in southern Maine, but nothing of profound impact. We will have to wait and see if next week brings potential for more significant precipitation.
Below are the high/low temperature graphs for Carrabassett, Bangor, Caribou, and Portland. Wednesday is very warm, and milder temperatures return for the rest of the week.
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