Here we go again. Boston reached 91F yesterday before a sea breeze kicked in and knocked the mercury back 10 degrees. Today marks day two of a 6 or perhaps even 7 day heat wave for many of us. During the next few days a sea breeze can bring some relief along the coast in the afternoon. If the winds turn onshore early enough it could prevent Logan airport from reaching 90F, but virtually everywhere except Cape Cod and the Islands is going to hit 90 all week.
The chart below is from the GFS model and shows the trend in temperature, humidity and moisture for the next week. Notice the high in Boston is forecast to reach or exceed 90F through Saturday and then relief comes by next Sunday.
You can't take what you see literally. This is but one model based on one forecast from this afternoon. This will change several times this week, but the overall pattern of heat and humidity will remain deeply entrenched all week.
This has certainly been a very hot month, but we have had worse. Boston’s longest heat wave of 9 days lasted from July 3-11 in 1912. There are several 8 day heat waves in the record books as well. August 11-18, 2002 was the most recent followed by July 19-26, 1994 then August 10-17, 1944. Back in August 1988 we had 11 ninety degree days from two, basically back to back, heat waves. The first was from the 3rd through the 6th. Then the heat wave broke for 3 days before a 7-day heat wave ensued from the 9th through the 15th. That month turned out as the hottest August in 118 years. The summer of 1988 had 25 days that hit 90F or higher and goes down as one of the worst in the past 25 years. I have one memory of that summer that will stick with me forever. I was working at Camp Kingswood as the boys unit director. The camp director and I would frequently meet in the walk-in freezer as a way to deal with oppressive heat.
Global patterns have cycles to them and right now the Atlantic is quite warm. This, combined with the typical Bermuda high of summer is one of many factors contributing to the oppressive heat here in southern New England this summer. Chicago by contrast has reached 90F only once this summer, but I suspect they will heat up this week as well.
Tomorrow the heat and humidity will combine to make it feel close to 100F inland. So areas in orange have a heat advisory in effect. I would not be surprised to see some part of New England have a heat advisory for the next 6 days.
There are signs of a big change in the pattern later this weekend. It may be that we don't see any more heat waves this month and that August brings with it some warm dry days, something we have seen very few of this summer.
On the outside
All this heat is taking its toll on us as well as plants and animals. I recommend using the early morning to check the garden. When it gets back into the 90s, it’s going to be harder to work outside again. A few suggestions would be to stake up perennials, weed, weed, weed, and notice which areas of the garden still might need some added water.
If you want to plant some new seedlings, there is certainly time to do that. The video below shows how I am growing lettuce in containers right now. I have a tray of seedlings I started two weeks ago which can be place in the ground in about a week.
I'll be updating the details of the weather on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.
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