Friday October 31, 2014
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Friday October 31, 2014
Posted: May 23, 2014

Improving weather towards Memorial Day

The Maine Forecast — Tracking Maine’s weather patterns

 I asked my smartphone this morning what the weather was like for the weekend. It told me there was a chance of showers and then showed me this picture.  

If you don’t have a smartphone and instead Googled the weather, I suspect you might see something quite similar.  Maine is a big state and the weather can be vastly different from York to Bangor to Caribou.  It becomes difficult to give every town a specific forecast, but I can show you maps that will give a good idea of your chances of getting wet this weekend or not.

I really dislike icon forecasting.  Unless it’s a snowy, rainy, completely sunny or cloudy day it’s a bad way to understand the weather.  The icons rarely tell you the whole story.  Even if you look at the hour-by-hour forecast, you would still see rain for much of the weekend and this isn’t going to be the case.

 

Our chance of rain comes from a weather system located high in the atmosphere.  It’s more of a disturbance which will help to bring lift to the atmosphere. This will allow the air at the ground to rise and form showers.   While this is the case, we also have cool marine air along the coastline.  This cool air acts to push the air back the ground and deflates the showers.   Put another way, as the showers move eastward today and tomorrow they are going to fall apart. 

Let’s look at a few maps to understand the weekend forecast.  The first is the probability of rainfall.  Remember, these maps are based on the models and won’t be exactly right.  However, they do give a good idea of trend and pattern. Notice the chance of rain is quite high today.  Most of southern Maine has a 70% chance or higher of seeing some rainfall.    

Tomorrow our odd are about 50/50 of seeing rain.  Most of the shower activity if it did occur would be in the afternoon.  The next map, for Sunday, shows the probability drops to around 30%.   At these levels, I could remove showers from the forecast entirely, but for the towns that see a quick shower I will continue to mention it.    By Monday the chance is virtually zero and that is our nicest day of the weekend. 

 

The other part of the rain equation is how much rain is going to fall.  If we get 2 inches of rain it’s a very different proposition than two tenths of an inch.  From today through Sunday we are looking at very little rainfall Maine.  

The map below estimates how much rainfall will occur through Sunday at 8PM.  Notice Portland has around a tenth of an inch with most of southern Maine in that range.  If you are headed west into New Hampshire, you can expect more in the way of significant rainfall.  This is all related to that marine air keeping the heavier showers away from the coastal plain. So while the chance of rain is high the next two day, the amount of rain we will get isn’t.  The exception to the rain amounts are thunderstorms. If one of those pops up, you could see 4 or 5 times the amount of rain on this map.

 

The weather map for Sunday shows the rainfall positioned over the Connecticut River Valley with basically no rain along the coast.  Temperatures in this pattern will be coolest at the water and warm as you move west away from the ocean. 

The next three maps show high temperatures over the weekend.   Notice by Monday it will be warm enough to perhaps even go for your first swim although the lakes and ocean water is still very cold.

 

 

 

Tides will be high between roughly 8 and 10 AM this weekend and low between 1 and 3 PM.   Check your local tide chart for each specific area.   The sun is up just after 5 AM and down just after 8PM for some of the longest amount of daylight of the entire year.

The bottom line on the weekend is there’s a chance of showers tomorrow, but by Monday the chance diminishes towards zero.  Sunshine is mostly absent Saturday and then increases each day through Monday.  It’s coolest, only in the lower and mid 60s Saturday and warms into the 70s to near 80F by Monday.  Have a great weekend whatever you do.

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