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May Is Here, Mild Air Returns!

By: Chief Meteorologist Eric Fisher
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WBZ-TV's Eric Fisher Eric Fisher
Eric Fisher is Chief Meteorologist for CBS Boston’s WBZ-TV News and...
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Well as expected we managed to salvage a pretty solid Thursday evening as the skies finally cleared up and temperatures popped into the 60s. My eyes may have been deceiving me, but there was even a little of haze in the air with dew points in the 50s! Throw in twilight lingering past 8pm and thunderstorms sparking up around Worcester in the evening for the first time all season – and there’s definitely a feel of spring (even a glimpse of summer?) in the air.

Today and tomorrow look very similar with regard to the overall setup. That same huge storm system that caused all sorts of havoc all week long across the country is now spinning its way up into the Great Lakes and southern Canada. Around it, there are still several impulses (vort-maxes) rotating counter-clockwise around the overall circulation. And so these little impulses bring instability to areas they swing through. We happen to be in the past of a few of them!

So both today and tomorrow, we’ll be starting out with sunshine (exception SE Mass which will hold onto some early showers/clouds today) and then seeing cumulus clouds build up. Both days will be in the mid/upper 60s, and both feature mainly offshore winds so even the coastline gets in on the mild air (only exception may be Islands and Mid/Outer Cape, which will pick up some of the southerly component to the west winds). Compared to where we’ve been, it should feel quite warm! And both days, showers should pop up in the afternoon. They shouldn’t feature much, if any, lightning on Friday. But with some slightly colder air aloft and steeper lapse rates on Saturday, I can’t rule out a few strikes and rumbles.

As coverage of the showers goes – they should be hit or miss on Friday, with the highest chance of rain across Worcester County/Southern NH and areas farther west. On Saturday we’ll highlight the same areas, although the coverage should be just a little more widespread. And on both days, I’m not thinking there will be much rain activity for far SE Mass/Cape. Any showers could feature briefly heavy downpours and gusty winds.

On Sunday, a stronger cold front with more upper-level support will swing in. There is a big-time cold pocket of air aloft that will swing overhead by Sunday afternoon/evening, and that will help produce some steep lapse rates. The timing of the front looks a little earlier too, so right now it looks like the shower risk may develop as early as late morning or midday. The afternoon certainly looks to be filled with scattered showers and thunderstorms, which may have hail and gusty winds along with them. So if you have some outdoor plans, just keep a close eye to the changing conditions and have a contingency plan to run indoors if need be.

That front will bring a blast of cooler air and gusty winds from the NW, which will give Sunday night and Monday a much chillier feel. The air looks cold enough to bring a round of mountain snow to northern New England! And for gardeners – I’d be wary of Monday night and Tuesday night. Some patchy frost may end up being a distinct possibility, so I wouldn’t plant any tender vegetation just yet.

Overall no major storms expected for at least 7 days…an onshore flow or at least consistent sea breezes may develop by mid-week as a warm front sets up to our south. So although the no major storms is a bonus, it also comes with no major warmth!

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