On this Earth Day 2013, it started out quite chilly in our portion of the planet. Temperatures near or below freezing in some of the suburbs and outlying towns resulted in a touch of frost on the grass, roofs, plants and some vehicle windshields. A strong high pressure system centered over the Canadian Maritimes is ridging southwestward through New England . The air pressure is unusually high in this area at 30.73 inches or 1040.6 millibars in Boston at 8 am. The highest pressure ever on record in the city was 31.08″ or 1052.5 mb on February 13, 1981. Linking this high pressure to a weak wave of low pressure developing off the North Carolina coast serves to tighten the pressure gradient today so the east-northeasterly wind will be freshening to 15-25 mph along the coast especially the South Shore with perhaps some gusts to 30 mph on Cape Cod. There will be less inland farther and farther inland. The strip of high cloudiness which spread up over the region last night will be thinning out this morning so the sunshine should be quite bright much of the day. Temperatures will not exceed the middle to upper 40s along the coast with readings of 51-54 deeper inland. While it’s high and dry here, major to record river flooding is occurring in IN, IL, MI, IA and MO thanks to the excessive rains last week. None of that will erupt in our area but there will likely be a bit of rain here tomorrow if that wave of low pressure is steered close enough to our region. This wet weather prediction has been on the zig and zag over the last several days because slight adjustments in the storm track from one forecast cycle to the next have yielded varying amounts of potential rain. The most reliable and most recent guidance is still leaning toward a lighter rain or just sprinkles and nuisance showers in eastern MA with the steadiest and heaviest rain of a half-inch or more falling over Cape Cod. As the wave evolves over the western Atlantic today, we should get a better handle on its importance to us tomorrow. For now, plan on it being wet and definitely raw over at least eastern sections with temperatures not rising out of the middle to upper 40s as a cold, gusty northeast to northerly wind blows.

Looking ahead, that storm should move into the Maritimes enabling some ridging to build in for some returning sunshine later Wednesday morning. That will enable temperatures to jump to 63-68 except at south-facing coastal areas as a freshening afternoon south-southwesterly wind keeps it in the cooler 50s. The next approaching frontal boundary from the west will trigger a few showers Wednesday night with the possibility of more showers reforming mainly over southeastern MA on Thursday. After that, a potent upper level disturbance may ignite some scattered showers and thunderstorms mainly across northern New England on Friday with a lower risk in southern sections. Presently, the early peek at next weekend reveals lots of sunshine and somewhat above average temperatures as a bubble of high pressure builds into the Northeast.

Todd Gutner will post a fresh blog early this evening and I shall return tomorrow morning.

Make it a great day!