BOSTON (CBS) – Welcome to summer! For those keeping track, the solstice officially arrives at 5:43 p.m. this Saturday, but it sure feels like we have jumped head first into the season already.
Thursday marked the first day of what could be a nearly week long heat wave in areas northwest of Boston. The Merrimack Valley and parts of southern New Hampshire will have daily high temperatures in the 90-95 degree range through a good portion of next week!
As a reminder, an official heat wave consists of at least 3 consecutive days of 90+ heat. Many towns to the northwest will be there by Saturday, which by the way, could be the hottest day of the year thus far with highs reaching near 95 in spots.
Boston didn’t crack 90 on Thursday but will get mighty close on Friday. This would be the city’s first 90 of the year. The average first 90 in Boston comes around the second week of June. Last year was a late bloomer, taking until July 5th.
And, as so often is said around here in the midst of a summer heat wave, it’s not just the heat, it’s the humidity.
Daily dew points will be well into the 60’s for this entire stretch, adding an uncomfortable edge to the swelter. Heat indices (feels like temperatures) could reach near 100 on Saturday and again next Tuesday and Wednesday.
Looking for relief from the heat? A persistent south-southwest breeze will provide some natural air conditioning to the south coastal areas, including Cape Cod and the Islands. Daily highs down there will be 10-to-20 degrees cooler than in the sweltering Merrimack Valley.
Remember those May days when your grass was so lush and green? Those are long gone. Combine 90 degree heat with the abnormally dry conditions we have had for more than a month now and lawns are going to be turning from green to brown in a hurry.
The last 30 or so days have been the driest stretch on record for many towns northwest of Boston, including Concord, NH.
Worcester has had its driest stretch (May 17 to current) in more than 100 years! Boston is running more than a month behind schedule for the year, down nearly 5 inches of water since the start of 2020.
And, the forecast doesn’t bring much promise of water. In the short term, there is very little chance of rain in the coming several days, just a few isolated showers, mainly in the western part of the state.
Our next best shot at any water may come with a frontal passage next Thursday (and that may also be what breaks the string of 90’s as well).
Beyond that, the overall pattern looks like a dry one. An oncoming La Nina often leads to hot, dry times in the summer for us with perhaps the best chance for rain coming from any leftover tropical systems that may head our way.
Having said all that, we are only in the very beginning stages of a drought, nowhere near where we were a few years back when reservoirs were reaching all-time lows. Thanks to a plentifully wet couple of years, our overall water supply remains in good shape for now.
And there are some benefits to the dry stretch.:
- Strawberry crops love all the sunshine, should be a bumper crop this year
- Less mosquitoes! Perhaps you may have noticed, a bit less swatting this summer so far
- Got solar panels? You are raking in the $$$!
- Outdoor dining! More important this summer than ever, restaurants should benefit from the dry conditions
In short, settle in, this is looking like a hot, dry summer.
Do your best to stay cool and enjoy what New England has to offer with all the great beaches and newly added outdoor dining areas.
It’s gonna be a scorchah!