33.3″ of snow falls on Mount Washington Mother’s Day Weekend – the largest May snowstorm ever recorded on the summit. Courtesy: Mount Washington Observatory
Weather has a delightful way of repeating itself, and this week is a nice example of an unusual pattern bringing unusual results. This past weekend, it snowed across the higher elevations of New England. In some cases, the flakes fell in record setting fashion. Mount Washington recorded nearly 3 FEET of snowfall (33.3″) for their largest May snowstorm ever noted by the intrepid observers atop the Rockpile. Accumulating snow came as far south as the Berkshires. And though it wasn’t as dramatic as May of 1977 when snow fell all the way to Boston, the pattern was very similar. A powerful -NAO (which also set a record for May this past weekend) locked in the cold and stormy pattern. Now that we’re transitioning out of it, the same result will follow as did in 1977. Temperatures into the 90s within a week.
So after all that cool, gray, wet, and sometimes snowy weather – we’ll turn the switch straight to summer. Sunshine owns Tuesday as temperatures rapidly rebound into the 70s. After this stretch, that might even feel hot under the midday sun! The warm air floodgates stay open into the mid-week as high pressure drifts south and takes up residence near Bermuda. That’s a prime setup for heat in the east. We’ll soar into the 80s on Wednesday, and then jump a step further on Thursday. All the while, humidity will be ticking upwards.
Thursday is the only day with records in jeopardy. Boston’s was set all the way back in 1936 and I’d say the chances are very high it will fall. The first 90 degree day of the year usually comes, on average, in early June. But in reality it can arrive just about anytime…from April to midsummer. I’d say this is a fairly typical time to get the first 90 degree reading, even if it sets a record for the date. The warmest spot on the map should be around the Merrimack Valley, which could reach the mid 90s Thursday afternoon.
If you’re going to turn on the AC this week, Thursday night is the time to do it. Lows may not fall out of the 70s in the city centers, and humidity will be at its highest through Friday morning. With such a warm ‘launching pad’ we should jump back into the 80s on Friday out ahead of the next front. Our exact highs for the day depend on the timing of the cold front. A little early, and we’ll max out near 80. A little later, and we’ll close in on 90 again. A later frontal passage would also increase our chances for a couple of storms, so that will be something to monitor. Earlier and the timing won’t be right/low risk of rain. Either way, a drier and more refreshing air mass will blow in on northwest winds Friday afternoon. So it should feel dramatically cooler/more comfortable by Friday evening.
While the weekend isn’t as warm, there’s still not much to complain about. Saturday is a HUGE day for graduations, parties, and weddings…and the weather looks stellar. High pressure will be drifting in, tons of sunshine, highs just topping 70 inland and staying in the 60s toward the coast as sea breezes develop. Dry air, comfortable, and bright. Perfection!
Sunday is a little more up in the air as we see where high pressure depends to set up. If it drifts too far east, we’ll thicken up the clouds and even bring in a chance of late rain. If it stays closer to home (which I think is more likely) it’ll be another great day with pleasant air inland and cooler air toward the shoreline. But in general, this is a dry 7-day stretch before our next best shot of rain arrives Monday of next week.
If you’ve been holding off in the garden, I’d say now is the time to strike. I plan on putting many of my veggies in this week, and odds are in our favor. With no frost on the horizon it would take a pretty unusual June cold blast to bring crop damage. That’s always possible, but I wouldn’t plan on a freak event. Just know that something strange can always happen. Most of the nights over the next 10-14 days look to stay over 40 degrees so we should be in good shape.