The combination of cool, dry early spring air and a choppy breeze is creating a classic New England spring feeling, with high temperatures nearing 50 degrees on Tuesday afternoon, but closer to wind chill 40 at the hottest time of the afternoon.
The result of dry air, a charged breeze and strong sunshine also means an increase in pollen counts and bushfire danger.
Bush fire danger
Bushfires were reported in Salisbury and Devens, Massachusetts, on Monday afternoon, and our first alert team considers conditions to be even more favorable on Tuesday due to continued drought.
Keep in mind that our ground is littered with last year’s dead vegetation – dry brush, leaves, grass, sticks and even dried reeds and grass in the marshes in our area. With nothing greening yet this season and no leaves on the trees yet, that means the full effect of our invigorating spring sun is shining on the dead brush, drying it further to create what is called “dry fuel” in the world of fire growth. The brisk northwest breeze, gusting to 35 mph at times Tuesday into early evening, provides ventilation to any developing fires and may also serve to spread stray embers closer to dry fuel, sparking new fires.
Of course, in New England, we really don’t have natural fire starters like the desert southwest with dry lightning – here our main causes of bushfires are carelessly discarded cigarettes and stray embers. from a mismanaged brush burn, meaning caution with these two ignition sources would nearly eliminate our brush fires.
Pollen levels today
Meanwhile, we’re certainly not fully into spring pollen season yet, as big offenders like birch, elm, ash, oak, and pine have yet to burst onto the scene in New England, but maple pollen, juniper and poplar have started and are drying out. , windy days with sunshine send the pollen count to moderate and high levels.
Relatively high pollen is expected again on Wednesday, but is expected to drop Thursday with the arrival of rain.
Brief respite on Thursday?
In fact, Thursday’s rain is a remnant of the severe storm in the midsection of the country that spawned multiple tornadoes Monday and Tuesday from the southern plains to the southeast, but as the storm hits our cooler spring air in New -England will change to a mostly cold shower and a wintry mix of snow and rain in northern New England, all beginning Wednesday night and continuing all day Thursday.
Snow, possible flooding
Aside from two to four inches of snow expected in northern Maine, accumulations in northern Maine will be limited to one or two inches before a change of rain and pockets of freezing rain in deeper mountain valleys, while that central and southern New England get another inch of rain – a good soak but unlikely to cause flooding, except perhaps on small rivers in central New England like the Suncook River in the New Hampshire.
A tracking cycle of energy aloft will drop in the northeast on Friday through the weekend, causing showers to develop again, but this time we are likely to find breaks between them, and any amount of sunshine would allow temperatures to rebound at least above 50 degrees, which is currently our forecast for at least Friday and Saturday.
Cooler air enters New England from Sunday to mid-week in our exclusive 10-day forecast, but also gradually dries out the atmosphere until the next disturbance increases the chance of rain again in the second. half of next week.