Pollen, Brush Fire Danger Highlight Weekend Weather

Spring for many, with signs of winter in the North Country

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New England has entered a stretch of dry weather for most – though not all. 

The large storm our First Alert team has been tracking as it stalls over Atlantic Canada continues to pinwheel lobes of atmospheric energy into northeast New England, with northern New Hampshire and the high terrain of northwest Maine waking up to over 6” of fresh snow Thursday morning and more pockets of snow and rain expected to fall through the day in Maine. 



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For the rest of New England, the storm is far enough away to spare the region from any rain and snow, but is close enough to bring building, puffy clouds Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons with little more than a sprinkle expected, but a fresh northwest breeze. 

The wind Thursday morning dropped wind chill values into the 20s, and while they recover to the 40s owing to gusts to 30 mph with actual temperatures in the 50s, Thursday night will bring a clear sky and continued wind for a return of wintry wind chill values. 

Friday and Saturday really don’t bring much warming for New England with highs in the 50s – 40s North Country – and sunshine starting each day but hiding behind billowing clouds during the afternoons. 

Of course, the dry weather will mean two elevated issues: pollen count and brush fire danger. 

Pollen levels are already elevated this time of the year with maple, alder, juniper and poplar the most common allergens right now, but dry and breezy weather only helps to dislodge more pollen, making for lots of allergy symptoms in the days ahead. 

The brush fire danger also is usually high this time of the year because we don’t have many leaves to cast shade on the ground and help to hold in moisture from showers, but this particular stretch really doesn’t bring fresh moisture, anyway, and the breezy conditions help to carry and fan embers. 

A friendly reminder in the Northeast our brush fires are almost exclusively caused by cigarette butts tossed aside and rolling into grass and brush, or stray embers from poorly managed brush burning, so a little caution goes a long way around here. 

Those looking for milder air will find it Sunday: a lighter wind, plenty of sun and high temperatures in the 60s except perhaps on Cape Cod and the coast of Maine.  The dry weekend comes courtesy of the stalled out storm over Nova Scotia – until it moves, the next storm can’t move into New England…but the Scotian storm will drift east Monday and new showers won’t waste time, arriving late Monday through Tuesday and into Wednesday. 

At this point, our exclusive 10-day forecast shows returning showers again at the end of next week on Friday, but the recurring showers make this coming weekend a good time to drop grass seed in New England, while the short-term dry stretch will make for great golfing, hiking and getting a few dry days if you take the car to the car wash.

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