Sunshine was evident across much of the region Wednesday afternoon with clouds and damp weather confined to Southeastern Massachusetts.
The persistent wind, which has been a conversation piece the past week, is slowly beginning to exit the area and this will eventually be followed by much warmer-than-average conditions.
It’s been a cool and dry stretch and the wind exacerbated the dryness by sucking the moisture out of the ground. You may have noticed your lawn is not growing nearly as fast as it would this time of year; indeed, I have mowed just once.
The final seven days of April were cooler than average and the first 8 out of 10 days this month have also been cooler than average.
All the while, rainfall has been lacking and I suspect when the new drought monitor appears later Thursday it may indicate an expansion of existing drought across northern New England and some areas of southern New England will be officially in a drier-than-average category.
For most of you reading this, the lack of rain just means there’s a lot of pollen in the air and you may notice it’s a little dusty. But if you’re a gardener, whether you’re trying to start a lawn or a bunch of seeds, it’s been really quite difficult.
Newly planted annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs need to be kept evenly moist to establish themselves. This is on you, not Mother Nature, for now.
Whether or not this dry spell turns into a bona fide drought remains to be seen.
In addition to the dry topsoil, we’ve also seen streamflow rates start to diminish. The map below shows our current water flow versus what would be typical this time of the year. Notice many stream and river stations are below or much below average with some scattered normal stations especially over southern Connecticut, where there’s been more rain this spring.
Water bans might crop up earlier than usual as well if the pattern persists a few more weeks.
You’ve likely heard about the warm weather that is coming.
Inland areas will reach well into the lower 70s for Thursday, warming into the 80s by Friday and the weekend. Cooler conditions will be the rule at the coast, especially on Cape Cod, with a flow from the south.
There’s the chance for a pop-up shower over the weekend as sky conditions will be oscillating between sunshine and clouds. Any rainfall will be limited and it’s more likely that you see absolutely nothing, then the shower. You can safely plant tomatoes and other warm-weather crops this weekend, but it’s fine to hold off another week as well.
It does look like the warmer-than-average conditions are going to continue for the rest of the month so although we have started May on a cool note we should end it on a warm one.