July Heat Wave & The Northern Lights

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce
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Joe Joyce WBZ-TV Meteorologist

Joe Joyce WBZ-TV Meteorologist

Clouds are breaking and temperatures will be responding quickly to any increasing sunshine today. A weak low is pulling off the coast this morning with building high pressure to follow for the afternoon. High to midlevel clouds in place are mixing with haze and pollution this morning. Poor air quality alert until 11 PM tonight. Skies will become partly sunny this afternoon with light to breezy west winds, highs will climb into the upper 80’s and Lwr 90’s in most areas. Clouds this morning at the beaches will give way to an afternoon haze. Where clouds linger longer, this will help to keep temps mostly in the 80’s. Any prolonged sun will mean Lwr 90’s for you. The atmosphere is mostly capped with the warm air aloft, but still unstable enough that we can not completely rule out an isolated pop up shower or t’storm.

Skies will be clearing out just enough during the evening to give us the slight chance for viewing the Northern Lights tonight and possibly tomorrow night. But tonight will be our best chance because of the clear sky conditions expected.

Thanks to the X-class solar flare off the Sun on Thursday, this CME arrived in the Earth’s upper atmosphere shortly after 5:00 this morning. Being that this was a strong solar flare directly pointed to the Earth, there is a lot of energy which will excite the electrons and protons in the ionosphere 100 miles above the Earth’s surface. The Earth’s spin and Coriolis effect helps to direct this energy and charged particles towards the Poles here viewing the Northern Lights is almost guaranteed above the latitude of 50 degrees.

While most of Canada will be basking in the views of the Aurora tonight, lower latitudes like us in New England may be treated  to this very elusive Phenomenon. Usually the Aurora Borealis stays confined to those higher latitudes, but because of the strength of this flare we just may have a chance! So to improve your chances…you need to get away from light pollution. Get to the countryside where you will find darker skies. The farther north into New England the better your chances will be! If you are lucky enough to see it..please send us a picture at weather@cbsboston.com or the WBZ facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/WBZWeather. We would love to see your pics!

The boundary which has been stalled south of New England all week, helping to keep the humidity away will start to approach  Sunday. partly sunny skies in the morning will fade to increasing afternoon clouds. This boundary /warm front will trigger scattered showers and thunderstorms from midday into the afternoon. It should remain drier at the coast. Clouds will slow the warming a bit keeping most areas in the 80’s, but the dewpoints will be rising to 70. So a very humid day can be expected. Any thunderstorm could contain heavy downpours because of this increased moisture in the air

A cold front will be pushing through and off the coast Sunday night and Early Monday with a period of clouds, fog…just a steamy air mass in place with lows in the Lwr 70’s. Typically, we cool and become less humid behind a front. Not the case this time. WNW around building high pressure will wrap in more heat and humidity for Monday -Wed. This will be the most intense part of this 7 day heat spell. This time we will be able to string together 3 consecutive days 90+ with dewpoints in the Lwr 70’s making it feel quite oppressive. Tuesday and Wednesday should be the hottest day with temps in the mid 90’s. Not record breaking but certainly uncomfortable and stifling.

Finally, On Wednesday, a cold front will push through in the afternoon with thunderstorms which will break the heat wave and bring welcome relief with cooler temps and lower humidity. Gorgeous weather likely from Thurs-Fri-Saturday in the Lwr 80’s. Can you make it?

The good news is the rest of July does not look excessively hot. A developing trough in the northeast should be able to steer away the heat and humidity for the rest of the month to at least make the weather more comfortable. We could all us a little rain for the lawns. We have barely picked up a tenth of inch of rain since the beginning of the month. The lawns could use a drink! Let’s hope for some beneficial rain along the way!

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