Heat waves in this part of the country are defined at three days in a row of 90F or higher temperatures. Official records are kept for the Boston area at Logan Airport. While the airport might not hit 90F Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, many places, like Framingham, Newton, Belmont, Sharon, Medfield, Billerica and many others could. The only day of the three in question to hit 90F is Friday. If we don't hit 90 on Friday and hits say 88 or 89, it won't be an official heat wave. But I will forecast one for now and even if I am off by 1 or 2 degrees, it's still going to be awfully hot.
Clouds will remain with us for the overnight as humidity levels continue to creep upwards. For most of you, it will be a comfortable night for sleeping, although not nearly as crisp as the past few night have been. By morning, humidity levels will be much higher and temperatures should reach 90F between 11AM and 12PM Wednesday
Winds are going to turn southwest tomorrow and propel very hot air into the region for the next three days. Once the warm front (red line) goes by our area later tonight and Wednesday morning temperatures and humidity will sky rocket. Some spots will no doubt break their records for the date and Wednesday and Thursday will be two of the hottest June days ever recorded. For regular updates, follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at GrowingWisdom.com
The center of the country has been experiencing heat for many days already. We have been fortunate in that the winds have been coming from the ocean and keeping much of New England quite cool. The pressure system that created the cooling easterly winds over the weekend through earlier today will be moving south of New England the next 12 hours and as it does so the east wind will become southwest. This southwest wind will allow all that heat to stream north. In addition to the heat humidity levels are going to sky rocket and it will feel very uncomfortable. The heat index is a measure of you feel when you combine heat and humidity. I expect that number to exceed 100F for several hours both Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.
To make the heat wave worse, the sun tomorrow and Thursday is actually the strongest of the entire year. While the length of the potential heatwave is not even close to a record, the fact we are going to be this hot on the summer solstice (first day of summer) will make getting burned especially easy. If you are going to be outside for any longer than 20 minutes you should apply sunscreen and apply it often. Sunscreen, even SPF's of 100, breakdown very rapidly in the strong ultraviolet light.
Record may be broken
It looks to me, for Boston, the best chance for a new high temperature records to be set will be Wednesday and Thursday. Other cities may break their records Wednesday and Thursday as well. By Friday, temperatures will still be hot, but not in record territory. In addition to the heat there will be blazing sunshine and humidity. While warm beach weather is great, this will be too much for most of you. The good news, it's not very long lasting. I would try to get the AC units in this evening so you don't have to do it in the extreme heat tomorrow or Thursday.
RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES FOR WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY:
BOSTON - 20TH - 98 SET IN 1953 21ST - 95 SET IN 1949
PROVIDENCE - 20TH - 95 SET IN 1941 21ST - 96 SET IN 1941
HARTFORD - 20TH - 96 SET IN 1995 21ST - 96 SET IN 1953
WORCESTER - 20TH - 93 SET IN 1953 21ST - 91 SET IN 1953
Early Friday a front that will lower humidity will cross the area. I expect it to be a hot day, but the humidity will drop all day long. Saturday another cold front will cross the region. After this front, temperatures will return to more comfortable levels for the weekend with abundant sunshine Saturday. There may be a few showers Sunday, but confidence in that is low at this time so many days in the future. As I like to say, stay tuned.
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.
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