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Forecast

Sunshine for Easter and beyond, but it could be too much of a good thing

Students studied the warm spring weather on Boston Common at the end of March. 


 Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff
Students studied the warm spring weather on Boston Common at the end of March. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe StaffSuzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

It’s Easter Sunday and after a brilliant sunrise, temperatures will reach near 60 degrees over inland areas this afternoon with weather conditions along the coastline.

We are in a very dry pattern, which started to establish itself last month and shows no sign of relenting. Although the potential for rain remains low, there are some forecasting challenges ahead this week.

A large storm system over Nova Scotia is going to retrograde toward New England into Monday. The word retrograde basically just means it’s moving backward, and instead of the usual west to east motion of weather, this storm is moving in the opposite direction.

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Inland areas will be mild this week.
Inland areas will be mild this week.NOAA

These types of situations occur when you have a blocking pattern further on the Atlantic that forces storms to move backward. This particular player won’t bring any significant precipitation to the area, but if it comes close enough, the clouds will invade eastern New England and there could even be some pockets of drizzle right along the coastline. This means Monday has clouds in the forecast, especially over Cape Cod and the North Shore.

The contrast between the storm and high pressure to the west will bring breezy conditions as well. This breeze is going to continue into the middle part of the week.

Maine is shown on the left side of the frame as the storm over Nova Scotia moves west early Sunday.
Maine is shown on the left side of the frame as the storm over Nova Scotia moves west early Sunday.COD Weather

As the blocking weather pattern that will start the week begins to break down, high pressure will continue to dominate, and I am expecting low relative humidity for the middle part of the week. We may even see some red flag warnings for high fire danger.

The rest of the week looks dry, although there might be a spot shower at some point Thursday or Friday. The pattern of dryness does concern me.

Dry weather is forecast this week, with some coastal drizzle possible Monday.
Dry weather is forecast this week, with some coastal drizzle possible Monday.NOAA

With no rain in the forecast and drier-than-average conditions prevailing, it’s likely that the currently limited drought across New England is going to expand. After a pretty significant drought last year, I expect many cities and towns to be watching this closely, and water bans will likely go into effect earlier than usual if this continues. The stress on some of the larger trees and shrubs in the landscape will also increase and can become problematic. Plants under stress are more susceptible to disease and insect pressure.

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Drier than average conditions have been in place in 2021 so far.
Drier than average conditions have been in place in 2021 so far.NOAA data

Unfortunately, I can’t make it rain, so while I mention what is happening, we might as well enjoy what is going to generally be a pretty stunning week of weather. Temperatures will be high away from the coastline, often in the 60s, and well into the 50s along the immediate shoreline. There are many years in the record books with a cold and wet March being followed by lots of April showers. This year the April showers look to be absent for now.