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Showers on the way to begin August

Posted by David Epstein  August 1, 2013 12:10 PM

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I am one of those people that hates the heat. I actually dislike it so much that I secretly count the days until mid-August when the chances of extreme heat tend to diminish. This year, I won't have to do any counting, at least at the beginning of the month. The image below shows one model's prediction for Boston for the next 10 days. Notice temperatures remain typical for early August with no big heat.
early august.png
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.

Our weather pattern is providing a flow of air that is generally coming from the northwest, not the south. This provides warm, but not hot days and comfortable night. Occasionally, like later this evening, weather systems will bring a brief bought of humidity and showers before a return to dry weather.

The most sunshine today will be this morning as clouds increase from a system to our west. I expect the air to turn a bit more humid as the flow of air turns to the south. Overnight as a cold front reaches the area showers and even the rumble of thunder will occur. Some showers will contain heavy downpours and the air will be muggy. I think I will have to put the air conditioning on tonight to keep the house feeling dry.

Friday will see the rain end and skies clear. I expect the second part of the day to be quite nice with warm conditions. Temperatures both today and tomorrow will reach the lower 80s.

Today is August 1st and the 8th month brings many changes, most of them in the lighting department. If you get up early you have definitely noticed the later sunrises. We have already lost over 30 minutes of daylight in the morning. sunrise august boston.png In the evening, the sun is now setting a few minutes after 8PM and Sunday will be last 8PM sunset until next year. In total there is an hour less light than there was 6 weeks ago.

The sun isn't getting quite as high in the sky either. Around 1 PM, when the sun is highest (daylight savings pushes that mark out an hour) it will reach around 65 degrees above the horizon. falling light boston.png By the end of the month it will be 10 degrees lower in the sky. The means the sun is weaker, shadows longer and the light starts to change the way it illuminates the landscape.

I love the late August light. It tends to have a more orange glow to it for a few hours each morning and before it sets each night. If you have an opportunity to get to the sea to watch either end of the day I highly recommend taking a camera.
As I alluded to, August also brings cooler temperatures. There have been some days with extreme heat this month and many past heat waves, but the chances of heat are diminishing, not increasing. You can clearly see on the chart below how typical temperatures decline this month. By the end of the month there are often a few inland areas that will see morning lows in the 40s.

boston high and low august.png
If our current pattern holds through the month, we won't see even one 90F degree day, but that is a big if. I can look out and say with reasonable confidence the next 10 days looks to be "heat free."
Gardening this week
If you have a sunny spot and a good size container, how about planting carrots? Carrots can be successfully grown in containers and you will be surprised how many you will get. One of the most important things is to not over water the soil. Check out the video below showing how I recently planted a container of carrots.

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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