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Storms possible this afternoon, weekend forecast looks hot

Posted by David Epstein  June 26, 2012 11:29 AM

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Another afternoon with showers and storms in the forecast means be prepared for heavy rain in some areas. As a low pressure area sits stuck to the north of Maine it continues to spin pieces of energy southward. When we get breaks of sunshine, the ground gets heated and then the air above the ground starts to rise. Again today we will see showers and storms pop-up. While I don’t expect severe weather, the air at the top of these storms is unusually cold. This means we could see some small hail with one or two of the storms. The hail, if it occurred, would not be large so any damage is unlikely. If something develops this afternoon, I'll be tweeting about the radar on Twitter at @growingwisdom

This pattern of afternoon storms will continue tomorrow as well. By the time we get to Thursday, the chance of any showers diminishes enough that they should come out of the forecast. That is great news as we head into the weekend.

There has been tremendous heat in the western part of the country the past few weeks. The heat along with a lack of rain has left that region tinder dry, thus the wild fires that have wreaked havoc with part of Colorado. A piece of that heat is going to be with us for the weekend. I don’t expect the heat or the humidity to be as bad as it was last week; however, we are going to have two days of 90+ afternoon temperatures.

Looking further ahead, the overall pattern looks a bit unsettled. Let me explain what that means for the daily weather. As more of you will be taking vacations this month, I know the forecast, and accuracy, is very important to you. What I see meteorologically is a pattern that is warm, muggy and some showers and thunderstorms will be common, especially in the afternoon. You might want to say, “Really Dave, humidity, heat and thunderstorms in July, some forecaster.” But, back in April we were in a dry pattern, it barely rained the entire month. We have had Julys that were very dry and hot. I just don’t see that type of situation setting up at least for the first part of the month. I am not saying it’s going to be like a few summers ago when it rained a good deal of July, but we are certainly in a pattern that I think will lead to regular rainfall. Many folks look forward all year to that week off from work and spending time with the family. The one thing you don't want is a beach house filled with screaming kids and rain pouring down outside. Keep reading the blog throughout the summer, I'll be as specific as possible as to the forecast.

Why is there weather?
Weather is a balancing act. The planet would like to be in balance. It would love to have the exact same temperature, moisture, air pressure at every spot on the planet. Unfortunately, for the Earth, the sun has a different idea. The sun keeps heating different parts of the planet at a different rate, every day. This difference in heating causes differences in temperature, moisture and pressure and in order to try to bring those back into balance, we have weather.

Storms are nature's way of moving the air around, trying to achieve the elusive balance of weather variables. Our storm, the first part of the week, is going to attempt to move warm air north and cool air south. Think of storms as mixing machines with two paddles. The warm front, drawn in red, divides the warm sector of a storm and the cold front, drawn in blue, divides the cold part of a storm. The two fronts (arms) spin around the center of a storm. The cold front is pushing the warm air ahead of it, propelled by the cold air behind it. The warm front pushes cool air ahead of it propelled by the warm air behind. Below is an image of a typical low pressure area. Any give spot can stay in one of those sectors for as little as a few hours or as long as a few weeks. For example, last Tuesday, a warm front passed to our north and we went into the warm sector for the next 4 days. When a cold front went by, we had a nice Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

low pressure.JPG
Gardening this week
The heat, the rain, the sunshine. My garden is doing quite well this year. I hope your garden is growing great too. I have had a few issues this year, mostly with slugs. Take a look at the video below and watch me give an update of my own garden. I hope it helps you in yours.

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

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com 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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