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Steaming

Barry Burbank
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It was another hot and humid day across much of the region. According to the WBZ WeatherBug Network, temperatures maxed out in the range of 87-90 in most areas except at some coastal locations including Cape Cod. In Pepperell, MA, the high of 90 was the 17th day at or over 90 degrees this season! This August 2nd did not match the torrid, record-breaking conditions that occurred in 1975. I was 25 years old and working hard long hours on my brother’s landscaping business in ME. On that day, however, we decided to cancel the crew for the day due to the excessive heat. That was a good call. I watched the temperature rise above 100 to a whopping 104 degrees. It was insane but I was young and actually excited about all the new record high temperatures that were established on that day. The heat didn’t bother me too much then but as the years have passed, I have aged to the point where I despise the heat particularly when it is accompanied by high humidity. Bright sunshine, dry air and a nice breeze at 75 degrees is perfection for me. How about you? Anyway, August 2, 1975 is still the hottest day on record for many but not all locations in New England. All-time official high temperatures were set for the states of MA and RI on that date. New Bedford and Chester, MA recorded 107 degrees while Providence, RI reached 104. While the summit of Mount Washington reached the all-time high of 72 on this date in 1972, the northern New England states set their all-time official highs on July 4, 1911. Nashua, NH hit 106, North Bridgton, ME hit 105 and Vernon, VT hit 105 on that date. Boston’s highest temperature ever going back about 140 years was also set on July 4, 1911. Boston tied its second highest temperature ever of 103 degrees on July 22 of last year.

Going forward, I do not foresee any excessive heat but I am predicting above average temperatures without records through this upcoming weekend. Daytime highs will touch the lower 90s tomorrow, near 90 Saturday and just under 90 on Sunday. It will be cooler at mainly south-facing coastal locations where it will be up to the range of 80-85. Nighttime lows in the upper 60s to middle 70s are projected through Sunday night. There should be some moonshine tonight and tomorrow night with lots of low clouds on Saturday night. Despite a weakening push of drier air over VT and parts of NH this afternoon, the humidity will be high to oppressive into Monday with fluctuating slightly in the range of 65-73 degrees across the area. After today’s isolated brief downpours and some lightning, the threat of showers and thunderstorms increases tomorrow afternoon and early evening thanks to the approach of a weak frontal boundary from the north and west. Support is lacking for any severe activity. The frontal boundary will stall somewhere across southern New England tomorrow night and Saturday providing a focus for convergence and additional storms to pop off in the steam heat Saturday afternoon. The boundary will retreat northward or just dissolve Sunday maintaining the mugginess. A southwesterly breeze up to 10-15 mph tomorrow may become southeasterly on Saturday then more southerly and up to 10-20 mph on Sunday. The next more potent frontal boundary will shove a swath of showers and storms across the area late Sunday night into Monday. Once this boundary shifts offshore late Monday, the air will become less humid especially north and west of Boston on Tuesday. Finally, a stronger cold front will arrive on Wednesday with attendant showers and storms leading to more refreshing air and a bit cooler weather the second half of next week.

There is some action in the tropics. A westward-moving wave has intensified into the 5th tropical storm of the season named “Ernesto”. As this storm moves westward across the Caribbean, it has the potential to strengthen into a hurricane the first part of next week. For more information, logon to the National Hurricane Center.

Melissa Mack delivers her AccuWeather forecast in the morning and I shall return later in the day.

Have a great Friday and GOOD LUCK to all the riders and the volunteers in the Pan Mass Challenge this weekend!

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