Wet blanket may snuff Fourth of July plans as thunderstorms threaten Southeastern Mass. this week
As hot and steamy weather settled into Boston for the third straight day, a string of thunderstorms passing through Southeastern Massachusetts Sunday brought cooling relief for some, but will threaten Boston’s Fourth of July plans with scattered rain and thunder showers. The thunderstorms also brought dangerous lightning, which struck five people in two separate incidents.
Boston’s temperature stretched to 91 just after 2 p.m. Sunday, but slightly lower temperatures on Friday prevented an official three-day heat wave.
“It’s safe to say that it was a heat wave in portions of Eastern Massachusetts, but Boston came up a bit short on Friday,” said meteorologist Bill Simpson.
The weekend’s string of thunderstorms around New England caused several lightning strikes.
Around 4 p.m. Sunday, three teenagers were indirectly struck in Glocester, R.I., and two — a 13-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl — were taken to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, said Glocester Police dispatcher Ericka Newman.
Additionally, a husband and wife from Massachusetts reported being struck by lightning Friday night while camping in Acadia National Park in Maine, according to park reports.
The lightning struck a vehicle around 9:30 p.m. and then traveled 30 feet to the campers’ tent, the report states.
The couple was taken to Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor with non-life threatening injuries, according to the report.
Field said there were no unusual weather patterns contributing to the lightning strikes this weekend.
“Any thunderstorm can produce lightning, and there was a lot of outdoor activity this weekend, week, and summer,” Field said.
The thunderstorms are not expected to abate this week.
Monday will feature a mix of sun and clouds, with the potential for a spot shower or thunderstorm later in the afternoon. Temperatures are expected top out in the 80s, Simpson said.
For the Fourth of July, Simpson said, temperatures could return to the 90s, but backyard barbecues may be spoiled by scattered showers and storms in the afternoon.
“Any of these afternoons could have showers or thunderstorms,” he said. “There should be at least some afternoon thunderstorms or showers for Independence Day.”
Simpson said it is too early to predict how the weather may affect fireworks displays on Wednesday night.
“We have a lot of little weak fronts moving through between now and then,” he said. “It’s difficult to time those out and know what [Wednesday] night will be like.”
New England residents should carry out their holiday barbecues and outdoor plans, but should “keep one eye on the sky,” said Glenn Field, a National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist.
Field said that lightning can strike whenever thunder is heard, and that it can also strike up to 10 miles outside the rain area.
Describing what residents can do to save themselves during a thunderstorm, Field recited, “When thunder roars, go indoors; if you can hear it, fear it; if you can see it, flee it.”
Heat and humidity should return by the end of the week.Colin A. Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ColinAYoung. Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @JaclynReiss.