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High temperature record broken

Posted by David Epstein  June 21, 2012 04:50 PM

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As of 4pm the temperature at Logan airport had fallen back to 91F from 96F in the 3PM hour. This means we have broken the record. I was two degrees off on my prediction for the high. At any rate, this was still a very hot, record setting, afternoon. There is a heat advisory in effect for much of the region till just before sunset. The area shaded in orange shows the counties under the advisory. advisoryt.jpg In addition to the high temperatures, the air quality is quite poor, especially over the south shore and Cape. If you have asthma or other breathing issues, this might be a tough day outside and a good one to find an air conditioned spot.

The air itself will be able to support a maximum temperature pretty close to 100F this afternoon. It gets very difficult to nail down whether or not a particular city or town ends up at 98, 99, 100 or even 101 for the final high temperature. One of the reasons is that when you are forecasting such a specific number, several small factors come into play. If a few clouds develop at the right time this afternoon or if the wind turns a few degrees in one direction or another those changes can impact the temperature a degree or two. Normally, we don't focus on whether it will be 78 or 80, most of us can't tell the difference anyway. However, when we have these record setting days, the focus on the exact temperature becomes a bit of game for meteorologists. We all want to predict the exact number and be the only one that gets it. Almost everyone agrees the record of 95F, set back in 1949 is going to fall. However, will we hit 100F? The odds are we won't hit 100F today, just looking at the few times it has happened in June shows how difficult it is. Time will tell. For regular updates, please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at

BOSTON 21ST - 95 SET IN 1949


HARTFORD 21ST - 96 SET IN 1953



The weekend

Eventually, a front will lower heat humidity will cross the area this weekend. I expect Friday to still be a hot day and the humidity will remain high. There will be the risk for thunderstorms before the front crosses the area. Whenever you have such a hot and humid air mass the storms that end up breaking the heat wave can be quite strong or even severe. We will have to keep an eye on the situation very closely on Friday. The front will not completely clear the area until later Saturday. Therefore, Saturday itself will start with some clouds and the chance for a few showers. It will still be muggy the first part of Saturday. The best weather will be further north and west of Boston. The weather over the Cape will feature many clouds and scattered shower Saturday. It won't be a washout, but not a great beach day either. Sunday will be the better of the two weekend days with lower humidity, comfortable temperatures and sunshine.

Jet Stream
The reason for the major heat and upcoming changes in our weather is of course due to the positioning of the jet stream. The first image, (below) shows the jet stream today. Notice the yellow line, the main flow, is way up in Canada. This has allowed the heat and humidity to move north, far into New England. By next week, the jet stream moves further south and allows cooler and perhaps some unsettled air into our area. Temperatures much of next week will be below what you might expect for late June.

Gardening this week

If your perennials seem out of control and rather large already you can do some pruning to help manage their size. Many perennials will stay tighter and neater from some quick pruning. Check out this video and see how you can try this in your own yard.

Remember, please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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