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Heat Climax

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Enough already! The heat is becoming increasingly unbearable for the natives. Based upon Facebook comments, tweets and emails, more and more people are complaining about the longevity and intensity of the heat. The good news is that there is a definite end to this super sultry weather. The bad news is that the heat is in climax mode today and tomorrow. In fact, the National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for parts of the region! The Heat Index or the apparent temperature meaning how it will feel will be over 105 degrees for at least 3 hours this afternoon. That will be repeated tomorrow afternoon as well. This takes into account the high temperatures in the middle to upper 90s plus the oppressive humidity. It is a rather rare event that a warning of this type is issued in New England. Similarly, it is rare for Boston to have a 7-day heat wave but that is exactly what this one will total with the passing of Saturday. The last one happened 25 years ago on August 9-15, 1988. Areas northwest of Boston away from a cooling sea breeze have experienced these longer heat waves a bit more regularly over the years. This July is on its way to being the hottest July on record with the present mean temperature at a whopping 5.5 degrees above the average! However, once this current spell of sizzling weather ends late Saturday, there are no signals of any more heat waves in the pipeline for the rest of this month. Furthermore, the longer range outlook for next month favors below average temperatures in the Northeast. We shall see but I hope that it verifies.

Looking back at the stats from last summer, following the 97 degrees on July 17, there was only one more day over 90 that month and two days over 90 in August. On average, the hottest time of the year is July 20-25 but I think it is peaking a few days earlier this year. I am predicting that it will be about 90 degrees in Boston at 10 o’clock this morning! The record high temperature for the city both today and tomorrow is 98 set in 1982. The most vulnerable record is tomorrow’s when it could strike 99 or 100 degrees. The previous temperature at 100 or higher was just 2 years ago on July 22 at 103! There should be some slight beach relief today as a sea breeze sets in and cools the immediate coast back under 90. The tide will be low at 1:30pm then high at 7:45pm. The ocean is quite warm in the upper 60s to middle 70s. I reiterate that this heat can be dangerous especially for the elderly and younger children. Please reduce physical exertion and time spent in the sun the next 3 days. Stay well hydrated with water and seek the cooling of air conditioners and fans. Plain and simple- take it easy to avoid heat-related illnesses. Additionally, there is an Air Quality Alert posted for parts of the region as ground level ozone concentrations exceed unhealthy standards. Those with respiratory ailments should be cautious.

After last night’s barrage of boomers that created an incredible lightning extravaganza from the northern mountains down across most of ME, the stage is set for some boomers to erupt again today over upstate NY with a trajectory farther west than last night’s swath. Consequently, be on the alert for some boomers to fly southeastward and pummel some places mainly from VT and NH into MA, RI and CT. A minor perturbation in the upper level wind field is necessary to trigger this convective activity as was the case yesterday otherwise the atmosphere is too warm and stable for these storms to percolate. Once in a while, the northwesterly flow aloft can release some powerful storms like yesterday. As examples, the Mount Washington Observatory had a squall line wind gust of 104 mph and Littleton, NH received 2-3″ of rain with nasty continuous cloud to ground lightning bolts in 1 hour. To keep tabs on the weather via time-lapse camera in the region looking south toward Franconia Notch, logon to Bob Copeland’s web site. Bob is a good friend, a magnificent artist and, of course, a veteran Boston television meteorologist. The thunderstorm threat will likely lessen tomorrow then really ramp up on Saturday as a potent cold front approaches from the west. Presently, it appears that many parameters will be in play to ignite some strong to severe storms causing damage in spots that afternoon.

Looking ahead, that cold front will come to the rescue and shift offshore Saturday night enabling a rush of much drier air into the region. How do you spell relief? A benevolent high pressure system will transit eastward from the Great Lakes providing delightful weather Sunday and Monday with high temperatures in the upper 70s to lower 80s. It might be a tad cooler at some of the beaches as a northeast to easterly sea breeze blows. We’ll be able to open up the windows and scour out the stale air in our homes as temperatures decline to the 50s Monday night. How sweet it is! The sunshine might disappear late Monday as an approaching upper level trough and surface frontal boundaries produce some showers and possible storms on Tuesday.

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

Make it a great day and good luck with the heat!

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