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Near record heat today, hot all weekend

Posted by David Epstein  May 31, 2013 07:10 AM

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After a warm and muggy night a pair of very hot days is on the way. Today, temperatures are going to approach record levels. The record for the next three days is 96F and even in Boston we will come close. I don't think we will exceed the record, but a high temperature of 95F is definitely in the cards. air quality.png Air quality isn't so good today and an alert for high levels of ground ozone (a pollutant) is up for the areas in grey.
I'll be updating the details of the heat and the weekend forecast on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

Yesterday's highs in the region were just shy of 90F. So, for inland areas to call this a heat wave, they have to hit 90 today, Saturday and Sunday. No matter if this ends up an official heat wave or not, it's hot.

The reason for the heat is the same as it often is during the summer. An area of high pressure sits off the coast of the eastern seaboard and pumps warm and humid air into New England from the south. This high, often referred to as a Bermuda high is locked in place for a couple of more days.
bermuda high.png
If this was July or August, the high can sit for many days in a row, but since it's still late May/early June, the cooler drier air to the north still has some force and will break down the high later Sunday and Monday. This means our heat, while early, intense and near record breaking won't last a long time.

While most of you will stay dry through Sunday afternoon, there is a risk for a pop-up summertime shower or thunderstorm, mostly south of the Massachusetts Turnpike this afternoon and again Saturday. If you get caught in one of these the rain will be quite intense, but not last long.

Later Sunday evening a more widespread area of showers and storms will cross New England and begin the end to the heat. By Monday, cooler air will be in place and while humidity levels will take part of the day to truly drop, the rest of next week looks quite comfortable with temperatures in the 70s.

I measured about 3 inches of rain since last Saturday and that has helped alleviate the short-term water issues many of us were seeing. With all this heat and adequate moisture, we have the perfect combination for optimal growth of trees and shrubs. You might find yourself needing to cut back a few things this weekend.

Gardening this week
You might not know it, but a disease that is affecting impatiens is going to be a problem again later this summer. This bacteria, which came over from Europe two years ago is now in over 30 states. I recommend not planting impatiens as the spores are airborne and likely will kill your plants later in July and early August just as they are looking great. I did a video on some alternatives to them here. Check it out.

I'll be updating the forecast throughout the week on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

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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