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Back to the 90s, hot weekend ahead

Posted by David Epstein  July 6, 2012 11:30 AM

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The heat is coming back for a two or three stretch once again. This afternoon will feature abundant sunshine with temperatures in the upper 80s to near 90. As you move west of Boston towards Hartford, the heat will be increasing. Hartford will easily surpass 90F and begin another heat wave. Throughout northern New England it will also be sunny and warm with temperatures reaching the 80s. Humidity will be noticeable, but not oppressive. Saturday will be the hottest of the next three days with temperatures soaring quickly into the 90s by 10 or 11 am tomorrow. The humidity will be highest for the start of the weekend, but beginning to dry out for Sunday.

This afternoon
The big heat across the center of the country is slowly moving eastward today. New York City, Hartford, even Burlington, Vermont will reach into the 90s during the next few hours. In eastern Massachusetts and up the coast to Maine a light northerly wind, eventually becoming a feeble sea breeze the afternoon, will keep us just under 90F. Humidity will be in the air, however, it won't be so high that it's oppressive. With abundant sunshine this is going be a fantastic day to spend on the coast. I will be gardening early this weekend to avoid the heat. I often give weather and garden updates via Twitter and to be part of the conversation follow me @Growingwisdom

Saturday
For me tomorrow is not going be a nice day. The worst of the heat will be over the southwest suburbs of Boston and down in to New York where there it is likely to approach 100F. It may be that you love the heat and humidity and it will be your kind of day, but I dread them. 8pm 7_12.jpgTemperatures Saturday will reach into the 80s by 8AM and quickly be near 90F by 10AM or 11AM. There will sunshine Saturday but also clouds increasing especially in the afternoon. As the clouds build ahead of an approaching cold front, (blue line on map) a few storms may pop up in the evening and overnight. As is typical in July, not everyone will get the storms and those that do could see torrential rain, thunder and gusty winds. Remember to slather on the sunscreen this time of the year. The sun is significantly stronger now than it will be in just 8 weeks.

Sunday
Cold front number one will be to the east on Sunday with another front passing through in the morning. The second front will sweep out the humidity, but leave the heat. Sunday will be the last truly hot day for a while as a new pattern takes hold next week. I do expect a few clouds Sunday morning across the South Shore and the Cape, but these will move out to see during the morning. The rest of New England will see sunshine. Temperatures will reach 90F again over many areas, with the Cape remaining the lower 80s. Northern New England will also see cooler temperatures in the low 80s

New pattern next week

The map below shows the position of the jet stream for next week. It appears that much of the heat will be pushed far to the south. While not unusual, this break in the pattern doesn't always happen in July. This means no more 90F for at least the next week. We have had five 90F degree days or higher so far this year. If you took the past 30 years and did an average of 90F days, it comes out to 14. We have had years with none and others with over 30. This year, so far, it seems like we are about in the middle.
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Twitter and weather
I knew the night of July 4th this year would be a tough forecast,but, talk about a crazy night of forecasting! One of the things that amazes me is the ability to forecast from anywhere. I was not in Boston that night, but I could, thanks to technology, see the radar, live pictures and other pieces of valuable information. Putting this all together allowed me to tell people what was going on with the weather up to the minute. Today, anyone can see the radar with a mobile device. Where I think meteorologists come into play, in these types of situations, is helping to interpret the data. Twitter is a tool ideal for meteorology or other rapidly changing situations. All of the local meteorologists here in Boston are embracing twitter as a way to get out information to viewers. I follow them, some of them follow me. It was really quite interesting to watch my twitter feed during the evening of the 4th as forecasters told the unfolding story of the coming storms. Meteorologists noticed around 10PM that night, after the Esplanade missed one storm, that a new storm popped up to the west. This new storm developed in a matter of minutes and ultimately was the one to soak revelers. We could 'tweet' about the movement of the rain shield as it moved down Storrow Drive and Beacon Street towards the Hatch Shell. Pretty amazing stuff when you think about it. Just a few years ago this type of nowcasting, as we call it, would have been unthinkable. Twitter is a great way to interact with 'followers' who may have feedback or want to ask questions. If you are not already on, give it a try. Follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom
One last point about the forecast. The storms that affected the Boston area, both of them, were very isolated. It only rained in a very small area, but affected a huge number of people. It remains a challenge to give more useful information, in these situations, other than to say "chance of showers". I know it can be frustrating to not know if you are going to be affected by that chance or not. The reality is, we are not there yet in terms of that level of specificity to the forecast. We can say that conditions are favorable for storms. As of now however, we can't forecast ahead of time that a storm will move down Beacon Street at 10:44PM, perhaps eventually we will. At least some of the new tools let us get the information to you as it is happening and with a specificity unlike ever before.

Gardening this week
Watering is the big issue this week with the garden. Otherwise, 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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