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Fair weather departs, potential drought dent arrives

Dave Hayes is a self-described “weather nut” (a term he prefers to “enthusiast”) who lives in western Massachusetts, his home for almost 30 years. He operates a daily blog on Facebook (facebook.com/WesternMassWeather), where he produces hyper-local reports, answers questions, and keeps more than 20,000 followers informed and educated about the weather that will impact their plans and lives.

Good day to all whose eyes are meeting this page! Our fair weather train has left the building, as we move into more warm and oppressively humid conditions through early next week. This incoming deep layer of moist air should help to produce an abundance of hydrometeors (the meteorological term for rain).

Farmers and gardeners love hydrometeors!

For Wednesday, high pressure builds off to our southeast, allowing more warm and humid air to enter southern Vermont. The clockwise flow around this high will direct a shortwave (i.e. a small area of low pressure) eastward into western New England.

This should result in scattered showers and thunderstorms this morning, with isolated showers in the afternoon. The best chance for rain is along the Massachusetts border. Expect highs in the upper 70s to the lower 80s, and lows in the low to mid 60s.

On Thursday, it will be very warm, with high temps pushing 90 degrees in places. Humid air will be in full force, so expect a muggy day. An isolated shower or thunderstorm is possible in the afternoon. Lows should hang near 70 degrees — not a fun night for sleeping.

By Friday and Saturday, it will become very muggy. In addition, somewhat unstable air will move into the region. This should result in scattered showers and thunderstorms, and some storms could become strong with locally gusty winds. The main threat would be localized street flooding from slow-moving downpours. Highs in the mid to upper 80s both days, and lows near 70 again. Expect more sunshine Friday, and more clouds on Saturday.

On Sunday, we’ll turn our attention to the interaction of a cold front approaching from the northwest and a tropical plume of moisture approaching from the southwest.

While the front could remain far enough to our west to allow only scattered showers during the period of Sunday through Tuesday, we could see substantial rainfall travel along it and dump rain on southern Vermont. Highs should sit back down into the mid to upper 70s Sunday through Tuesday.

Please remember that beyond 72 hours, forecast accuracy goes down fairly substantially. And it’s also worth nothing that while you experience a given air temperature near the Connecticut River to the east, temperatures drop off by 5 to as much as 10 degrees in the mountainous region of the western and northern parts of Windham County.

Have a great week!

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Originally published in The Commons issue #369 (Wednesday, August 10, 2016). This story appeared on page A3.

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