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Showers decrease as heat increases

Posted by David Epstein  July 3, 2013 07:36 AM

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Some areas saw more showers overnight, but the bigger news was the marine air that filtered past Framingham and moved west to about Worcester. East of there, dew points and temperatures fell and the night had a coolness to it we haven’t seen in many days. Unfortunately, for those who hate the heat and humidity, this is but a brief reprieve in a hot and humid pattern. The map below shows the front that divides the two air masses this morning.

I'll be updating the details of the July 4th forecast on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

dew point dry.bmp

Temperatures and humidity levels will both rise today and by the end of the day it will be back in the mid 80s over most areas. A few spots breaking into sunshine will hit the upper 80s this afternoon. We still have the ever present chance of showers and thunderstorms with the highest threat west of Route 495. The most likely time for any rainfall will be after 3 PM, although in a soupy air mass such as this, any time is possible.
A large and intense area of high pressure is going to build from the western Atlantic and create a somewhat more stable, but hot and humid flow into New England for the next week.

A summary of the weather would be our chance of rain goes down as temperatures go higher. I expect from tomorrow onward several areas to have a 4 to 6 day heat wave. Towns along the water, including Boston, may flip to a feeble sea breeze or see a thunderstorm early next week keeping the high just shy of 90F. It won’t matter what the official temperature reads, it’s going to be hot.

While the amount of clouds and showers has been atypical for late June and early July, the upcoming heat is right on schedule. Some of our hottest weather occurs during the next few weeks, with one of the hottest days ever in New England occurring on August 2nd 1975 when Massachusetts’ state record was set at 107F. That occurred in New Bedford and Chester.

I am not expecting anything close to that during this heat wave as we will have a southwesterly flow of moist tropical air. This wind direction brings heat and humidity, but the heat is somewhat tempered by the ocean. To hit 100F our winds should really be coming more off the land.

You might be wondering, how much longer the chance for showers last? There is still a flash flood watch up for the Connecticut River valley and southwest New Hampshire today. Most of southern New England will not see any showers outside of those spots. We can almost remove the word rain from the forecast tomorrow through the upcoming weekend when the core of the heat and humidity are with us. The ground in the mountains is quite saturated. If you are hiking this week, bring extra socks.

July 4th
The holiday is looking rain free (I suppose a pop-up storm could occur) and hot. Highs will hit the upper 80s and lower 90s. Head to the beach tomorrow!

Summer weather patterns are much more innocuous than their wintertime counterparts. For this reason, the computer models actually can have a tougher time forecasting the details of the long range. Next week there are questions about whether the heat and humidity remain in place with dry weather, or a front gets stuck in the area with a return to the showery pattern of the past 6 weeks. I’ll be interested in how this plays out as we enter the second week of July.

Gardening this week
How are the plantings looking that you have against the foundation of your dwelling? Are they overgrown, too small or crowded? Check out this video in which I show you one foundation planting from start to finish. I added several important tips throughout the video.

I'll be updating the details of the July 4th forecast 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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