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Fair weather continues; expect lots of sunshine

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 you, southern Vermonters and denizens of Windham County. We’ve got plenty of sunny weather ahead, which is good and bad. It’s good because it’s easy on the bones, and very pleasant. It’s bad because we need rain very much, and there’s not much of it in the forecast.

In terms of the drought, we need autumn to arrive and bring with it an abundance of gifts in the form of long-duration (i.e., 24 hours or longer) rainy Nor’easters. It’s that steady, stratiform, consistent rainfall that is better absorbed into the ground.

These hit-or-miss summery convective showers and thunderstorms are better than nothing, but not ideal in terms of drought relief.

We’ve been enjoying some drier days and nights recently, but that will change. Wednesday will begin to see a slow return of humidity that will peak on Friday in advance of a cold frontal passage.

For Wednesday, high pressure will drift east off of the Mid-Atlantic coast and into the western Atlantic Ocean. This will allow a southwesterly flow to develop around the clockwise circulation of the high pressure system.

While humidity should remain fairly comfortable on this day, air temperatures will be the first to rise due to this flow. Expect highs in the low to mid 80s and lows in the upper 50s to low 60s.

For Thursday, air temperatures should be about the same as Wednesday, but humidity will be increasing. It will feel more muggy, but not oppressively so. Clouds should increase as the day passes due to an approaching short wave (i.e. small low pressure system) that could bring some isolated showers or a thunderstorm Thursday evening and night.

For Friday, the humidity will peak with dew point temperatures well into the 60s. A weakening cold front will approach the region, and could spark more scattered showers and thunderstorms, but severe weather isn’t expected at this time.

After the front passes, we’ll enter another drying and cooling period with fresh Canadian air moving in on northwest breezes. High temperatures this weekend should stay in the mid to upper 70s and lows in the 50s. Very pleasant, indeed!

By Monday and Tuesday of next week, another frontal passage is likely, but timing is uncertain. More scattered showers and storms are possible, with highs in the upper 70s.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #371 (Wednesday, August 24, 2016). This story appeared on page A5.

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