The good news is I don’t see the weather being as severe as yesterday. The bad news, we don’t really improve with the weather until tomorrow. Yesterday a line of severe storms pushed through Maine, with the town of York sustaining the heaviest damage. So far we don’t have any confirmed reports of tornadoes, but there were reports of funnel clouds. The winds that caused so much tree damage in York likely came from a downburst or microburst.
A microburst can contain winds in excess of 100 mph and can do damage that resembles a small tornado. Experts from the National Weather Service will evaluate damage from the thunderstorms and ultimately make a determination for what caused damage. One can tell by how the damage occurs if it’s from unidirectional winds like a microburst or rotational winds like a tornado.
The image below shows the flow of the rain at mid-morning. While the position of the rain showers will change by the time you read this, you can get an idea of how the elements of rain are moving this morning. The air is very saturated. The amount of water in the air means any rain showers we have will potentially come with torrential downpours. These showers might be heavy enough to create street flooding and even cause some roads to become temporarily impassable.
The reason for all the rain today continues to be a strong flow of air from the south and a slow-moving cold front to our west. Eventually, this frontal system will pass off the coast and then the rain will finally shut down.
The atmosphere is a bit different today than yesterday. While we certainly could and will see thunderstorms today, I don’t expect the severity of Tuesday to be repeated. With 1 to 3 inches of rain being forecast, streams and small rivers could rise to bank full in a short period of time. Rainfall rates might reach 3 inches in one hour in some of the showers today. You might have to pull over if you are driving.
The front will push off the coast overnight and bring an end to the rainfall. Thursday brings back the sunshine and lowers the humidity. The next stretch of dry weather should continue into the weekend and with seasonable temperatures this will be an ideal weekend for all mid-summer outdoor activities.
I don’t expect much in the way of noticeable humidity starting tomorrow and continuing into the weekend. Next week some clouds and the chance of showers will resume, but I am not expecting a return of the pattern of the past few days with the oppressive humidity.
Longer range shows some heat building in the center of the country, but at present I don’t see any 90-degree weather returning to Maine.
You can find more of my forecast details and gardening tips on Twitter @growingwisdom