Beat The Heat

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This sweltering weather is relentless but I actually can tolerate it having high confidence that there is a definite break coming. Can you imagine coping with it if it was going to linger for another month or more? I know that I would freak out because my endurance has dwindled already and this is only day 4 of the heat wave. Furthermore, I don’t think that I could ever become acclimated to these conditions that folks in the southern section of this nation deal with continuously. I will never forget the 25 days over 90 degrees recently in 2010 and especially the record of 29 days over 90 way back in 1983. My youngest son was 3-6 months old during that sizzling summer that actually produced 38 days over 90 in my town! I understand that some people worship the heat but long-lasting spells of extremely hot and muggy weather are dangerous for many individuals particularly the elderly, younger children and those with various health issues such as respiratory disorders. The heat zaps the body’s energy and makes us more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. Would you prefer a long spell of excessive heat or a lengthy period of arctic cold? With heat, there are limitations to adequately cooling the body but with cold, adding layered clothing and blankets can preserve body warmth. Clearly, either elongated extreme is intolerable but I believe that I can deal with the cold better than the heat. That doesn’t imply that I do not enjoy the summer season. Au contraire. In my opinion, beautiful sunshine with low humidity and a nice breeze with daily high temperatures of 75-80 and overnight low temperatures in the 50s is weather made to order. Is that too much to ask for? Perhaps we will rewarded with some of these days in August as the current long range projection suggests cooler than average weather for next month.

The current prognostication has not changed any from yesterday’s thoughts. Essentially, we’ve got the steam heat into Saturday but a pattern change is in the works. The giant dome of high pressure providing this uncomfortable air mass is in the early stages of shifting westward and southward as the jet stream digs southward from Canada. With an eventual ridge out west and a broad trough setting up over the eastern portion of the nation, all systems are GO for a dramatic change to refreshing air of low humidity and pleasant temperatures commencing Sunday and lingering into at least the middle of next week. Until then, it’s the same old story of hot and very humid conditions. Over the past two days, the dewpoints have fluctuated and dipped into the moderate range of humidity for a spell but it now appears that they are rising back into the high zone and will occasionally dip into the oppressive zone in the next 3-4 days. Except for a few coastline locations, most areas heated to 90 or higher yesterday so today is day 4 of the heat wave. Yesterday’s slight beach relief will be duplicated today as the tide rises in its cycle from low early this afternoon to high early this evening. The ocean temperatures are mostly in the range of 70-75 but the sea is nearly flat and that is a big disappointment for the body and board surfers. The highs of 90-95 will be matched today then raised 2-5 degrees for the climax of this heat wave on Friday at 94-99. Boston’s record for that day, July 19, is 98 set in 1982. For today, there will not be any ventilating wind and just a gentle breeze at times supporting the slight cooling of a sea breeze for areas close to the coastline. Then with a low pressure system sailing across eastern Canada and its trailing cold front draped into the eastern Great Lakes and the high pressure ridge sinking southward,  the pressure gradient tightens on Friday resulting in a freshening southwesterly wind to 12-28 mph. This will drive the intense heat right onto the east-facing beaches but Cape Cod will be cooler in the 80s. The temperature may just break 90 on Saturday as the thunderstorms could appear by midday. The air quality is moderate today but some deterioration is anticipated in the next couple days so the air may become unhealthful for some specific groups.

Regarding potential thunderstorms over the next few days, undoubtedly, the greatest threat will be Saturday when the potent cold front will be approaching from the west. Presently, it appears that many parameters will be in place for an outbreak of some strong to severe storms on that day. Other than over the northern mountains, the risk of any convective activity is low today, slightly higher tomorrow and a bit more likely on Friday especially north and west of Boston. As we get closer to the event on Saturday, we should be able to deliver more specific information about the storm threat.

Well, we’re about half-way through what looks to be a 7-day heat wave. These long duration waves are rare in New England. The previous 7-day deal occurred 25 years ago on August 9-15, 1988! Take it easy and stay well hydrated with water through the balance of this heat wave.

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

Make it a great day!

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