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Typical summer week: some storms, humidity and heat

Posted by David Epstein  July 2, 2012 09:00 AM

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The week on balance continues to look super for all summer activity. But, the next 7 days are not without possible weather issues. As you have been hearing, the Midwest has been under a brutal heat wave with triple digit temperatures and humidity. We have had a few days of our own heat and humidity but nothing extreme. Later this week, more heat will move into our area for a few days, but it doesn't look to be prolonged. Tomorrow continues to be my pick of the next 5 days with low humidity, warm temperatures, sunshine and nearly a zero percent chance of rain. Speaking of rain, there is the chance for storms again this afternoon. Some of these could be strong, but there the atmosphere is not conducive to severe weather.

Many of you are on vacation this week, and most of you are off Wednesday. Of course, the 4th is one of those holidays that the weather is very important. Outdoor barbecues, the beach, the concerts, and the fireworks all play better under clear skies. There is the risk for showers and storms later today, Wednesday and again Saturday. I would say that Wednesday is, unfortunately, the day with the highest chance of storms. At this point I can't say what time or where they will occur, if they even do at all. That isn't the most helpful forecast I know, but I just want folks to be aware of what is possible.

Today through Wednesday

The first three days of the week will be warm, but not exceedingly hot. Humidity levels will be dropping through Tuesday and that is why tomorrow is going to be a "top 10" day in my book. Temperatures will be in the 80s and overnight tonight and Tuesday night will be great for sleeping. Humidity will come back for the 4th and that day is going to be a bit unsettled. There may be clouds and even some afternoon storms to contend with. I will update the forecast again tomorrow to give you a better idea of the timing of the potential storms. The day will balance out quite nice overall, but if a storm occurs from 7-10PM it won't matter how nice it was all day.

Back to the 90s
Hot temperatures at or above 90F return at the end of the week. For some, this will be as early as Thursday the rest of us will see the 90s on Friday and Saturday. Those places that do reach 90F Thursday, will begin their third heat wave of the summer. Before we get back to the 90s, we have three days of warm. Overnight it is going to be muggy and warm with temperatures not falling below 70F at all or not until very early in the morning.

Summer patterns
July is the heart of summer, in the same way January is the heart of winter. In July, the days are getting shorter, but the temperatures continue to warm throughout the month. In January, the days are getting longer, but the temperatures are getting colder throughout the month. January is typically 4 weeks of full on cold and July is typically 4 weeks of full on heat. This week, summer will be in full swing with warm to hot temperatures, some humidity and a chance for a few showers.

In winter, the jet stream blows through the country and carries storms along its path. During summer, when the jet stream blows across Canada, we are left with weather, that comes mostly from fronts, that crisscross the lower 48. These fronts usually don't make it south of the mid-Atlantic region. This is the reason it remains hot all summer, with no break, from Delaware to Florida. The same holds true for the center part of the country from Missouri to Texas.

Here in the Northeast, we are fortunate in that we are closer to the jet stream in Canada. Here, during the warm months,fronts move through every 3-5 days. Sometimes, during an extensive heat wave, the gap between fronts can be up to two weeks, but that is the exception, not the rule.

This week, we will generally see a typical summer pattern. In this pattern, small fronts, or pieces of energy, rotate through on the jet stream to the north. I drew the areas of clouds embedded in the jet stream flow below. When they come through, if there is enough moisture, some showers and thunderstorms will result. In summer, Showers and thunderstorms are often very difficult to predict. Both the timing of the storms and the location is nearly impossible. We can give general ideas that they will happen in the morning or afternoon. A meteorologist can also tell if they are more likely over one areas, (northern New England vs. Southern) but the more detail you want, the less likely is going to be spot on.
Jet Stream.bmp

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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