Showers and Thunderstorms Return This Afternoon

Hello everyone!

Today will feature the return of showers and thunderstorms as an area of low pressure moves in from the west. Any sunshine this morning will be short-lived along the coast with overcast settling in for the afternoon. Southerly winds will pick up this afternoon and push moisture-laden air into the area, leading to some patchy fog along the Midcoast and an increase in humidity everywhere. The first showers should arrive in western NH between 3 and 5 PM before spreading east into Maine. Rain will fall heavily at times through the night before tapering off closer to tomorrow morning. Most of the area can expect around 0.5-1.5″ of rain with a few towns that end up under some heavy thunderstorms exceeding that and a few towns drawing the short straw between cells with less.

This system happens to be what I call the “summer backbreaker” as it will signal the end of deep/mid summer and the beginning of our slide into late summer/early fall. There will still be warm/hot days heading into August, as well as humidity unfortunately, but this is our first real cool airmass arriving on NW flow rather than E/NE flow so it signals a shift in the state of the atmosphere worth noting. If you couldn’t tell by now, this is one of my favorite days each year. Enjoy it!

-Jack

Pretty Nice Weather Today

Hello everyone!

Today will feature pretty nice weather across the area as high pressure builds overhead. Look for mostly sunny skies this morning with just a dash of cloud cover moving in this evening. There will be just enough humidity over far southern areas to support some pop-up clouds earlier in the afternoon, a couple of which just might grow tall enough to produce some brief and isolated showers. Overall though, today looks pretty dry. The northerly/northwesterly breezes will push air into the region from Quebec (not on fire) instead of NW Ontario (very much on fire) so smoke won’t be nearly as much of a concern today as it was over the past couple days. Enjoy that beautiful clean air!

-Jack

Cold Front Brings Unsettled Weather and Some Respite From the Smoke Today

Hello everyone!

Today’s primary weather feature of interest will be a cold front moving through the area this afternoon. Ahead of the front, winds will be very light and out of the WNW. This means that humidity leftover from yesterday will linger especially near the coast. Warm temps will also linger, especially in the south where sunshine will be most widespread in the early part of the day. Look for highs here to top out in the low to mid 80s while the mountains remain confined to the mid 70s under thicker cloud cover and occasional showers.

Another concern today will be continued poor air quality from wildfire smoke. Rather astonishingly, New England retains the “worst air quality in the country” award this morning if you discount a handful of stations directly in the path of the largest fire over in California. Air quality is slowly improving as the sun comes up and disperses the smoke through a deeper layer of the atmosphere, but folks sensitive to the smoke (you know who you are by now) should take it easy outside especially for the next few hours. The cleanest air today will be found behind the front in the north.

A wave passing along the front will bring a round of strong thunderstorms to southern New England this evening. We’ll be on the northern edge of this wave so any thunder should be confined to southern NH and any severe weather to the south of the MA border. That said, rain may fall heavily at times starting late afternoon in NH and early evening over in ME. This system will be moving pretty quickly so flooding concerns aren’t too high, but the usual suspects could see some wet basements and slow drainage.

-Jack

Showers and Storms Possible Again Today

Hello everyone!

Today will feature another round of showers and thunderstorms for a lucky few as another cold front approaches from the west. Southwesterly breezes ahead of this front will push warmer and more humid air into the region with highs rising into the upper 70s up north and mid 80s in the south away from the coast. Temps at the coast will be held down by onshore breezes and a bit of fog/stratus especially this morning.

Everyone will see another batch of wildfire smoke move through midday through the afternoon. This smoke will be present in high concentrations near the ground so hazy conditions and air quality degradations are in order unfortunately. As of this morning, air quality stations in VT and upstate NY are reporting air quality that is “unhealthy for sensitive groups” while Cornwall Ontario has air quality bad enough to be unhealthy for everyone. As this smoke moves in from the northwest over the next few hours, take it easy if you have to be outside.

Showers and storms will pop up intermittently this afternoon with the highest odds of rain to be found over northern and northeastern parts of the area. Storms that form north of Portland/Fryeburg could produce some small hail and gusty winds in addition to heavy rain and lightning.

-Jack

Weekend Outlook

Hello everyone!

I’m headed back offline this weekend so this post will contain forecast information to get you through until I’m back on Monday morning.

Tomorrow looks to be the nicer day of the weekend with sunny skies in the morning giving way to a few clouds in the afternoon. High pressure will be passing right overhead so clouds will be of the afternoon pop-up variety and are unlikely to drop more than a brief shower over the mountains and southern foothills. High temps will range through the mid/upper 70s for most with a sea breeze holding temps down along the coast.

Unsettled weather will return (again) on Sunday as low pressure moves up the Saint Lawrence Valley. Expect showers to be ongoing across most of the area as the sun comes up with the steadiest rain found up in the mountains closer to the storm. Warmer air will try to move in behind these showers midday, with some breaks of sun possible in southern and western NH. Just how much sun we get will determine how strong a round of afternoon showers and storms can get as that low drags a cold front through. Right now, the best shot at some afternoon sunshine and evening thunderstorms looks to be southwestern NH but if you see some sunshine in the ME foothills, keep the possibility of some rumbles in the back of your mind.

Thick cloud cover and onshore southeasterly breezes will hold temps in the mid 60s along the Midcoast with upper 60s to around 70 more common in the foothills and points west of Portland. Some spots in SW NH may run into the mid 70s if the sun can come out, but that’s not a guarantee.

Showers and storms will fade around sunset before quieter weather returns to start the week.

I’ll be back again on Monday.

-Jack

Another Round of Afternoon Showers and Storms Today

Hello everyone!

Today will feature another round of afternoon showers and thunderstorms as pockets of cooler air aloft continue to provide instability across the area. Skies will start off mostly sunny this morning before becoming mostly cloudy this afternoon as instability is generated by the contrast between warming air near the ground and cooling air aloft. Any one of these afternoon clouds will be capable of dropping some rain and gusty winds given the setup. The best chance for a severe storm (producing winds strong enough to maybe cause a power outage or two) will be in southern NH and far SW ME where more instability will be present. These storms shouldn’t last too long so if one drifts by your area, just duck inside for a few minutes to let it pass. Shower activity will fade around and after sunset as we lose daytime heating.

High temps will remain seasonably cool, ranging from the upper 60s up north to the upper 70s in southern NH.

-Jack

Cool and Somewhat Unsettled Today

Hello everyone!

Our general trend of cooler and more unsettled weather will continue today as an upper-level disturbance slides through the area. A cold front has moved offshore and taken with it most of the tropical air, so storms today won’t have nearly as much fuel as they did a couple days ago. That said, scattered showers are possible in the foothills and mountains especially this afternoon. Otherwise, skies will feature a mix of sun and clouds with high temps in the low to mid 70s.

-Jack

Smoky and Unsettled Today

Hello everyone!

Today’s forecast contains a rather unusual item for our area: thick wildfire smoke. The jet stream has pushed smoke from fires burning across the western states all the way across the continent and there’s so much of it that you’ll really notice a difference today. If you were up for sunrise, you probably saw the blood red color of the rising sun as the smoke bent and deflected the other colors of the visible spectrum. As the sun gets higher in the sky, that will become less apparent, but smoke will be thick enough to significantly reduce the amount of energy making it to the surface. You’ll notice that in the form of dimmer shadows and cooler temps, much like if there was a thin overcast ahead of an approaching storm.

Unfortunately, not all the smoke will remain elevated above the surface. Model guidance and observations this morning both indicate that smoke is settling down towards the ground and will stick around until this afternoon, especially in southern NH and the mountains of Maine. This means in those areas you might smell smoke if you’re outside, and air quality will be adversely impacted. Most stations to our west are reporting air quality conditions that are “unhealthy for sensitive groups”. So if you’re sensitive to air quality issues (folks with asthma etc.), take it easy outside especially this morning.

In “normal” weather, a cold front will approach the area this afternoon with the potential for some showers and storms to pop up as a result. The strongest storms appear to be to our west as the front doesn’t quite get here in time today, but we should get at least a few storms to pop up in the warm and humid airmass ahead of the front. A line of stronger storms may approach from the west around sunset, but it should run out of fuel before it can cause too much trouble in our area. The primary impacts will be some additional rain and a few rumbles especially in NW NH.

Temps will be held down a bit by the smoke and will range from the mid 70s up north to the low 80s in the south.

Smoke should mostly clear out of the area (for now) tomorrow.

-Jack

Generally Unsettled Weather Continues

Hello everyone!

I am back from a lovely weekend away from the connected world, and it seems as though the weather here in northern New England is picking up right where I left it a few days ago. An upper-level low that has been bringing unsettled conditions for the past few days will ever so slowly begin to move northeast today, though we will still remain under its influence.

Satellite imagery shows thick cloud cover in place across the area this morning with some shower activity over in NH, especially near the CT River. Expect a few breaks in the overcast later this morning as the sun comes up before whatever heating we get provides enough instability for clouds and showers to redevelop this afternoon. The most widespread activity will probably be up in the mountains close to the upper low’s center, but anyone could get a brief downpour this afternoon before activity fades around sunset.

Thick clouds will hold high temps to the low/mid 70s across the area today.

-Jack

The Sun Returns For Some Today Ahead of Unsettled Weekend Outlook

Hello everyone!

I’m dipping back off the grid for a few days so this update will contain forecast information through Sunday.

The sun has finally returned to western parts of the area this morning after a rather overcast stretch. That stretch will continue along the coast today thanks to light onshore flow, abundant low-level moisture, and weak winds. There shouldn’t be too much in the way of shower activity today as the marine layer is quite stable and the cold front we would need for interior thunderstorms is still well to our west. High temps today will rise into the low 80s for much of the region with cooler temps in the 70s along the coast.

The cold front currently to our northwest will arrive tomorrow which means southerly breezes pushing marine fog onshore in the morning and the chance for thunderstorms in the afternoon. High temps will climb well into the 80s across central/southern NH and the foothills/coastal plain of Maine. The front will arrive sooner in the mountains where highs will be a bit cooler in the upper 70s. Afternoon showers and storms will pop up along the mountains and progress southeast into the evening. A few storms might have enough juice to produce gusty winds in addition to heavy rain and lightning, but no widespread severe weather is expected.

Showers and storms will linger over southern NH Saturday morning as the front loses steam just to our south. A wave of low pressure passing along this boundary will keep skies mostly cloudy across all but far northern parts of the area with folks south of Portland/Plymouth NH seeing periods of rain as well. Some of this rain may be quite heavy depending on where exactly the front stalls out. Given recent heavy rain and saturated soils, there is some potential for flooding in southern NH if the current signal for heavy rain remains strong. Thick clouds will hold temps in the low 70s across the south on Saturday with mid 70s likely north of Augusta.

A similar pattern is likely to be in place Sunday as that front doesn’t really have anywhere to go. A surge of cooler, drier air from the northeast is possible which would cut down on the odds of rain for all except the MA/NH border region. However, mid/upper-level clouds would likely stick around. This should lead to another cooler day especially in the south while northern spots make another run towards 80.

I’ll be back with another update on Monday morning.

-Jack

Reliably hype-free weather info for Western Maine and New Hampshire from amateur forecaster Jack Sillin

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