Will the Weather Be Clear Enough to See Tuesday Night's Rocket Launch?

There's a good chance many communities could have a view of the shuttle if it does launch as scheduled

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While southeastern New England enjoyed a bright breezy afternoon with plenty of sunshine, western and northern New England had more of a chilly mix of clouds and limited sunshine.

And some of the mountains had snow showers, while eastern and northern Maine had showers and small bits of ice, graupel and hail, falling from the sky. Highs Tuesday managed the 60s south and 50s and even 40s north.

Now the question is, will that NASA rocket launch happen in Virginia this evening just after 8 p.m., and will we be able to see it? If it's clear, and if it launches, the answer is yes. Those are two big ifs. The delayed shuttle launch will work in New Englanders’ favor if it does, indeed, take off Tuesday night – we’ve been mostly cloudy for the last three opportunities, but this evening there’s a good chance many communities would have a view of the shuttle in the southeast sky. It’s northern New England that will find the slowest retreat of clouds as we head toward launch time Tuesday evening, though deeper into the evening – closer to midnight – a round of clouds and sprinkles is possible in far southern New England with another disturbance aloft. 

Dry air at ground level means once skies clear for good after midnight, temperatures will fall easily, dropping to either side of 40 degrees for a crisp but sunny start to Wednesday. 

Yet again, Wednesday brings another disturbance that will build large, puffy clouds, eventually growing heavy enough by the afternoon to drop scattered showers with a few rumbles of thunder, this time perhaps into southern New England including much of eastern Massachusetts. 

With the passage of that last gasp of strong energy and cold air aloft, the path will be cleared for a great day Thursday with temperatures rebounding to around 70 degrees and likely to repeat Friday even with increasing clouds. 

Another round of disturbances aloft cross the sky of New England this weekend, elevating our chance of showers during each afternoon Saturday and Sunday. Neither day right now looks like a washout, leading to a continuation of spring temperatures heading into next week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.

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