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Sea breeze helps to cool coast after going over 90 again

Posted by David Epstein  July 18, 2013 04:10 PM

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We lucked out today as a sea breeze moved inland around noon and pushed all the way back past Route 128. Boston did go over 90F again, but then fell back to the lower 80s and humidity levels fell as well. Since the high temperature was 91F at Logan Airport, the heat wave continues unbroken. Although there were heat warnings and advisories up, the criteria for them was barely met, if it was at all, along the coast. At my house we fell about 4 degrees as the sea breeze pushed temperatures under 90. This was welcome relief from what looked like a very hot day at sunrise.

Tomorrow I don't think we will be so lucky. A southwest wind is going to be strong enough to prevent any sea breezes and therefore temperatures are headed towards 100. Saturday will be day 7 of the heat wave with temperatures in the lower 90s.

I'll be updating the details of the heat and when it will end on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

I was watering some containers outside earlier and thinking about what to write in the blog. For some of you, this heat is quite enjoyable. I have a friend who loves this weather, day after day of it. For me, summer is fun, but this type of heat is too much. I grew up in Maine and we had years when it never hit 90F. As recently as three summers ago Boston had 25 days over 90 and 30 years ago in the summer of 1983 there were 29 days that hit 90F or higher.

I can't imagine living in places that see this sort of heat as routine day after day for 3 months or more. Imagine what it must be like in a place like Dohar, Qatar. The highs all month exceed 100F and a cool night goes below 90F. Here is the forecast through Monday for that region of the world. Our weather doesn't seem so bad compared to theirs! dohar weather.pngThat type of heat is just amazing and shows what humans can get use to.

This doesn't mean the heat can't be dangerous, it certainly puts a strain on your body, but if you're generally smart about keeping hydrated and not running a 10 mile loop in this weather you'll be fine. Don't however underestimate how fast the car can heat up, even with the windows left partially open. This is not the type of weather to leave an animal in the car.

Tomorrow is going to be so hot that an excessive heat warning has been issued for areas in darker purple in southern New England. These areas will quickly have temperatures that feel over 100F tomorrow and closer to 107F for many hours from late morning until around 5PM.heat issues friday.png Other areas (orange) have a heat advisory as temperature will feel around 100F in the afternoon. The warning is a more serious notification. Boston's record tomorrow is 98F and the one in Worcester is 95F, both are in jeopardy.

These types of heat waves tend to break down with the possibility of severe weather. As cooler and drier air slowly makes its way south into the United States the chance of storms will increase. The greatest likelihood of storms will come Saturday afternoon and evening when the cold front crosses the area and finally breaks the back of the heat.
Starting Sunday cooler and drier air will be entrenched across the region. High temperatures in the lower 80s will replace the mid-90s and humidity levels will fall low enough to open the windows at night much of next week. The chart below clearly shows the heat breaking and how much more comfortable next week's weather will be for all of us. While I can't predict the rest of the summer, my educated thinking is that this week will end up as the hottest and most intense week of temperature and humidity for the summer of 2013.
heat wave breaks.png

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 by mid-morning, it’s going to be harder to work outside. 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.

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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