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A Sizzling Week

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Unless you are lucky enough to be at a pool or close to the coastline on vacation this week, this is, without a doubt, going to be one long UGLY week for us heat haters. It is extremely difficult even dangerous for some to deal with outside work activities under these conditions when the temperature exceeds 90 and the humidity is oppressive. Check out this heat information and tips on how to cope. It’s plain and simple. Reduce physical exertion, take it easier, seek air conditioning and fans and keep well hydrated with water. The elderly, young children and especially those with respiratory problems are more vulnerable. With projected lower to middle 90s through Saturday, we are just not accustomed to such long spells of blistering heat. Boston’s previous 7-day heat wave occurred way back on August 9-15, 1988. Unlike the previous heat wave which featured searing heat flowing right onto the beaches via a land breeze, this sizzling spell will sponsor beach relief for the next 3 days as feeble sea breezes develop by 11am-12pm. This will slightly cool the coast by 5-10 degrees. Any cooling will likely not penetrate much farther inland than shore roads up to a mile in from the coastline! Boston’s official temperature at Logan Airport will be right on the cusp of hitting 90 degrees as a sea breeze develops today, tomorrow and Wednesday. Corresponding high tides for those 3 days will occur at 5 pm today, 5:50pm tomorrow and 6:45pm Wednesday. So while it may not end up being a 7-day heat blast at the airport, it will certainly be one in the city itself. With Boston’s 5-day heat wave on July 3-8 plus previous hot days, the city has recorded 11 days at or over 90 degrees this year. On average, there are 14 days for the entire year. In 2012, the number of 14 such days matched the average with one less in 2011 preceded by a whopping 25 days in 2010. Interestingly, despite those 25 days, there were only 3 heat waves lasting only 3 days each. In July, Boston’s average number of 90 days is 6. The city has already matched that number this month with the potential of several more this week. Unless there is a massive pattern change, this could turn out to be the hottest July on record. The change to refreshing air last Friday and Saturday dropped the monthly mean temperature but it is still at an amazing 4.6 degrees above the average. July 2011 was the second hottest July on record at 3.4 degrees above the average.

A sprawling high pressure system surface and aloft is creating this wicked climate. It is expanding westward across the nation and will eventually settle southward to enable the jet stream to dig into the northern border states. This suggests that a meaningful cold front will arrive but not until later Saturday afternoon! In spite of the heat and wretched humidity, the atmosphere is capped from producing thunderstorms in most areas until the second half of the week. An isolated boomer cannot be ruled out over the next 1-3 days but, for the most part, it looks like the gardens and lawns will really be drying out. Unfortunately, the wind will be weak and offering little ventilation through Wednesday so the stuffiness will be exaggerated. As the pattern starts changing, a southwesterly wind will freshen later in the week and become quite gusty to 15-30 mph by Friday afternoon. Once the cold front passes through late Saturday, all systems seem on track to deliver a cooler high pressure system across southern Canada into northern New England. Therefore, genuine relief will be here next Sunday through at least Tuesday as the wind blows in from the northeast to east yielding high temperatures in the middle 70s along the coast ranging up to the lower 80s inland with much lower humidity. Whew!

Todd Gutner posts his blog early this evening and I shall return early tomorrow morning.

Make it a great day and STAY COOL!

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