More Tropical Trouble! 9/18/17

Hello! I hope everyone had a great, weekend! Each morning featured thick fog, and murky conditions along the coast. As the sun warmed up the atmosphere, this fog burned off, leading to quite beautiful afternoons each day.

Though it felt like summer out there, the seasons are slowly beginning to change. In fact, the official first day of fall is this Friday!

One sign of the seasons changing is the increase in foggy mornings. Some friends were asking me what’s up with all this fog around here past couple mornings?

There are many ways fog develops. One way, is when the air temperature and dew point (measure of moisture in the air) are the same. When this happens, the air becomes a 100% saturated.

Because the nights are longer now, the air temperature has more time to drop, and can fall to the dew point more easily, developing fog…sometimes pea soup fog!

I was chatting with a life long friend of mine this past weekend, and we got around talking about the tropics. He’s not as much of a weather fanatic as me, but he understands the concepts of weather quite well, and is quite interested in it.

We typically chat about current events in each season. With it being the peak of hurricane season, we talked about the season so far, and he asked me what my thoughts were about Jose.

Ahhh, yes…good old Jose! It seems like he’s been milling around the Atlantic for two weeks now! And in fact, he has been!

To say the least, it’s been an active season, so far. After many dormant years, the hurricanes have returned in a vengeance.

Earlier, it appeared as if another El Nino, and plumes of Saharan dust off Africa, was going to inhibit the development of hurricanes once again this season. But oh, have things changed!

It’s amazing how the atmosphere has adjusted to produce this active season. What once looked like a El Nino season, has quickly turned into another La Nina in the Pacific Ocean.

You ask, what does this have to do with the hurricanes in the Atlantic? Well, El Nino increase wind shear in the tropics. This prohibits storms from developing. La Nina is more stable, which results in a conducive environment for hurricane development.

But it’s not just that. A massive high pressure system parked in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, has proved to be the catalyst for tracking hurricanes this season.

The high pressures clockwise ciculation is the driver, tracking these storms from off of Africa westward, towards the Caribbean and United States.

The catastrophic destruction these storms have caused, has beeen shocking. And it’s not done yet. I will be discussing more about this shortly.

Getting back to Jose. My friend pointed out to me the sudden drop in ocean temperatures off the New England coast. And he asked me whether this is going to diminish the chances of New England being struck with a big hurricane this season?

As I mentioned above, Hurricane Jose has been wandering around the Atlantic, seemingly lost, for weeks now. Why is this happening? Well, for one, the enormous high pressure system previously mentioned above, is essentially blocking this storm from moving harmlessly out to sea.

So what does that mean for us here in New England? Well, after doing a loop de loop out in the Atlantic, it now appears Jose is beginning to make his move northward. Computer models have been all over the place in tracking this storm!

With that being said, it appears as if the computer models have come to some general agreement with the track of this storm.

I can totally understand the public worrying about a major storm hitting New England! After the horrifying video, and constant catastrophic news reports, who wouldn’t be concerned?

Before you get too worked up, I want to let you know what my thoughts are, regarding this storm. First, Jose is currently a minimum hurricane, with max winds of 80 mph. This in itself is enough to do some serious damage.

However, a couple things are going to happen to Jose before it arrives. Number one, it’s moving slow. This is a good and bad thing for us. The good thing, is that in most cases, hurricanes need to be moving very fast to maintain their tropical characteristics to be a big problem for us here in New England.

This means the storm is weakening as it encounters cooler water surrounding New England. Remember what my friend said about the cooler water off New England? Yes, this will definitely weaken the storm. Hurricanes need a minimum of 80 degree ocean temperature to maintain their strength.

As this happens, the storm is going to trasform into a cold core storm, or like a winter time nor’easter that we typically get around here.

The bad news is that this storm is also going to track very much like a nor’easter would, and is going to stall, or even do another loop southeast of Nantucket Island.

This may prolong the strong winds down on the Cape, and beach erosion elsewhere along the coastline. I will have all these details shortly in my forecast.

If that’s not enough, we have Maria to worry about now! Maria is going to turn into another catastrophic major hurricane. I can see this intensifying into at least a category 4, and possibly even a 5 over the next couple days.

This is just horrendous news for folks in the Leeward Islands, many of which were just destroyed by Irma. Maria is currently going through rapid intensification. It’s possible that the storm is cat 3 (130 mph winds) while going through the Leeward Islands. This would be the only piece good news I can see for them.

However, my concern is, computer models are really ramping her up as she approaches Puerto Rico, as a cat 4 (150 mph winds), or even stronger! Computer models show her tracking right over the center of the island, sparing none.

This would result in catastrophic flooding across the mountainous terrain, along with destructive high winds. Not a good situation unfolding down there at all.

What does the future track of Maria look like? Well, we can’t even get Jose nailed down at this juncture! However, long range patterns do show that folks on the east coast must keep an eye out for Maria, as she could track close to the coast, and spread flooding rains up the coast. I will continue to monitor.

Before I get to my forecast, I did want to briefly chat about our upcoming weather patterns. Now that La Nina is becomming established, it appears as if the mild to warm weather is going to continue here in New England, well into the fall. This does not mean we will not have some chilly episodes, but overall, it’s looking warm at least through October.

Right now, long range computer models are beginning to print out maps for the upcoming winter. At this early junture, I can see another banner snow year coming up for New England ski resorts…possibly even more snow than last year!

The Boston area is a coin toss, and I will not know how severe or mild the winter will be until late November. Remember, La Nina’s are highly variable in Boston! I have to study more information to be able to make an educated call sometime in November! I will continue to keep everyone updated with my research.

Now for your weekly outdoor activity forecast. Sorry about the overzealous nice weather forecast for last week! While the first few days were on target, the remnants of Irma really fouled up the forecast towards the end of the week. Too many showers and thunderstorms, and too much foggy weather! Let’s try this again!

For this week, I’m calling for a 5 out of 10. Expect mainly cloudy and somewhat muggy weather for the rest of today. It should remain dry, with highs mainly in the lower 70’s.

As Jose appraoches tonight, expect increasing clouds along with the chance of some showers across the Cape. A tropical storm warning is in place for coastal Rhode Island, Cape Cod, and the South Shore up to Hull. This means you will see winds in excess of 39 mph, along with tropical downpours of rain.

Tuesday should feature increasing, gusty winds out of the northeast. As winds increase, expect showers to traverse the region from south to north. At this point, I’m not expecting a washout around Boston tomorrow, but it will be wet at times.

Conditions will deteriorate later Tuesday, and expecially at night across the region. Rain, heavy at times will be spreading across the Boston area and up along the coast. The heaviest rain looks to be confined along and east of the I95 corridor. right now, I’m anticipating between 1 and 2″ of rain around Boston.

Although it will rain, I’m not expecting nothing too heavy north and west from there. Winds will also be increasing to up to 40 mph in the Boston area, possibly up to 50 mph along the South Shore, and extreme east coast areas.

Being closer to the center, the Cape will bear the brunt of this storm. Heavy rain, possibly up to 3 to 5″ and strong winds gusting up to 60 mph will result in some downed trees and scattered power outages.

With these strong onshore winds, coastal flooding and beach erosion is always a concern. Right now, I would say there is low to moderate risk of a least some coastal flooding in typical areas that are prone to flooding. I’m not anticipating major flooding.

Also keep in mind the these type of storms produce dangerous rip currents, and unexpected large waves. The NWS is expecting waves of up to 20 ft! It goes without saying to stay out of the water until the storm passes!

This includes fishing boats. A few people already needed to be recued after being swept off rocks due to an unexpected large wave off the coast of Rhode Island this past weekend!

Heavy rain and the strongest winds should abate around Boston by midday Wednesday, but may continue down the Cape for much of the day. It will be on the muggy side.

Expect slowly improving weather on Thursday. Early morning low clouds, and fog may improve to some afternoon sun. If this happens, it will warm up well into the 70’s.

As for Friday, the first day of autumn, expect it to feel more like summer! After some early morning fog, it should turn mostly sunny and very warm, with highs near 80.

Right now, the weekend is looking to be very warm and dry. Expect sunny and very warm weather on Saturday, with highs in the mid 80’s! Beach anyone? Sunday may be slightly cooler at the coast, but another sunny and warm day appears to be on tap! Enjoy!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will have my first fall foliage report for everyone! I will also have another update on the tropics. In the meantime, our tropical troubles will pale in comparison for folks who have to deal with Maria! Please keep them in your prayers!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Meanwhile…It’s Back To Summer! 9/11/17

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! It was a fallish feel to the weather, as temperatures felt more like late September, rather than the beginning. This was in stark contrast to what was going down in Florida!

It’s hurricane season, folks! In fact, Hurricane Irma struck at the exact peak of hurricane season, which happens to be on September 10th!

After a record dormant stretch, the U.S. has now been hit by two category 4 hurricanes in the same season, for the first time in recorded history!

Hard to believe the last time any major hurricane had struck the U.S. with a category 3 or higher, was way back in 2005! It’s been a long time coming, but the hurricanes are back with a vengeance!

If you need to be reminded, hurricanes are the largest, widespread, dangerous & most destructive storms on earth. These are powerful storms, that are very difficult to forecast, with erratic tracks, and levels of intensity. Part of this reason is because hurricanes typically form where steering currents are weak, or non existant.

Like many around New England, I was in awe watching hurricane coverage on all the major networks yesterday.

With the advancements in technology, it truly felt as if we were there watching the storm ufold! While I loved seeing the live coverage, I had an uneasy felling in my stomach.

I was chatting with my good weather friend Remy last evening about the storm coverage. We both were very disturbed how networks place reporters and meteorologists in danger, during the height of the storm, just to increase ratings and social media attention.

We both agreed it’s irresponsible, extremely dangerous, and sets a bad example for evacuation efforts!

Just yesterday, I saw two meteorologists from The Weather Channel in very dangerous situations. One was reporting live in Miami. At first, he was reporting on a boardwalk showing the rising water behind him, with 70 mph winds battering him. This may have not been good enough for ratings. I was shocked in the next report, as he was then standing in waist deep storm surge water, witrh waves splashing on him!

Another was in Naples, where a meteorologist was reporting live during the arrival of the eyewall. While I’ll admit it was fascinating watching him battle through the worst of the storm, I was shocked when it appeared as if a small tornado crossed the street and nearly sucked him up into its vortex! While The Weather Channel may have loved the ratings, I’m sure his wife and family thought differently!

As far as I could see, the highest wind gust in Florida was reported from Naples, where an amazing gust of 142 mph was recorded!

Yet, as bad as it was, this storm could of been a lot worse!! At one point, this was a powerful category 5 hurricane, with sustained winds of 185 mph! Unfortunately, for Barbuda and St. Martin, they bore the brunt of this storm, as the eye passed right over them, absolutely destroying 90% of the islands.

It must of been a terrifying experience witnessing that event. As a comparison, you could say it’s the same as being in a F3 tornado for about 8 straight hours!

Had the storm not interacted with Cuba, this may of been the fate for south Florida. In addition, the track Irma took actually spared the western coast a devastating storm surge. Offshore winds literally blew the water out of the harbors and bays, to the north of the eyewall.

The fear from many, and myself, was as the eyewall tracked north along the coast, the water would rush back into the coastline, resulting in a dangerous storm surge. Well, Thank God the worst scenerio did not materialize!!

While many did see a storm surge, coastal communities dodged a HUGE bullet in my opinion! Rather than remaining over the Gulf waters, paralleling the Florida coast, Irma jogged right as the eye went over Naples, then proceeded to move north over the center of Florida.

With this slight change in the track, the surge literally got “cut off” from flooding the coast. I can only attribute this as a kind act of God, sparing these locations total destruction.

This small change in the track caught many off gaurd, including local meteorologists, National Weather Service, and The National Hurricane Center. Again, this sudden change in the track spared the coastline millions of dollars in damages.

While this was good news for areas such as Tampa Bay and Tallahassee, the sudden change in track meant bad news for east coast cities such as Jacksonville!

Just when you thought the worst would bypass you to your west, your city suddenly ends up with a major storm surge this morning! The small 50 mile shift meant east coast side of Florida became vulnerable to storm surge.

Remember, the worst conditions of the storm, occurs in the northeast quardrant of the storm. This placed Jacksonville in this location.

I havn’t seen anny preliminary numbers, but I believe Irma may go down as one of the most costliest storms on record! This includes the catastrophic damage in Caribbean Islands which sustained a direct hit from the storm.

We could go on and on chatting about Irma. But I believe, many, including myself, are Irmered out!

Some years, these storms maintain their tropical moisture package, and soaks New England with flooding rains. This will not be the case this go around!

In fact, with the sudden increase in tropical activity, I’m beginning to see a retreat of our early fall weather patterns. While a coolish September seemed to be in the cards this year, it now appears as if the cool weather is retreating out west, and a large ridge of sunny and warm weather will dominate our weather possibly for the rest of the month!

Hello…HELLO??? Just as I thought. I hear no complaints from many out there! What once seemed like a sudden end to summer, now appears as if we may be entering a pattern similar to the past several years.

What does this mean?? Well, it may mean a resurgence of above normal temperatures, and fairly dry patterns heading into at least the first part of October.

This means more bouts of extended periods of Indian Summer heading into fall. This keeps the theme of “seasonal shift” going that we have been experiencing the past several years. Meaning, it takes quite a while for winter to begin in New England, often well after Christmas.

This also keeps the streak of fantastic weather during the month of September going! It’s so ironic how inclement patterns linger through the summer months, only to finally straighten themselves out when everyone goes back to school and work in September!

Does all this have any implecations for the upcoming winter…maybe. What seemed like a weak El Nino (slightly warm water in Pacific Ocean) developing this winter, has now reverted to at least a moderate, if not strong La Nina (colder than normal water in Pacific Ocean). This may have major implications on our winter, which may be beginning to show its effects here in early fall.

Unfortunately, the warmer temperatures may delay our fall foliage season, once again. I know many have commented on the early splashes of color, but I’m concerned the warm temperatures will keep the leaves greener, deeper into the fall.

This doesn’t mean that a dull season is coming, it just means that it may linger longer, even into the first couple weeks of November, much like the past several years. Even if some colors are muted by the warm weather, autumn always delivers scenic beauty in our region!

While a warm, dry winter is not gauranteed, La Nina’s typically are not too snowy and cold here in Boston. There are exceptions. I can recall four La Nina years in the past 25, that brought Boston above normal snow.

In 1995-96, was a La Nina year which featured a very unusual blocking pattern, which helped Boston to, at the time, a record snow year.

In 2007-08, another La Nina, brought well above normal snow to much of New England. In fact, record snows fell up in northern New England!

Another La Nina year in 2010-11 delivered a surprisingly heavy snow year. This year had some questions whether the Icelandic volcano eruptions aided in surpressing the jet stream that winter, helping in the near record snows.

Then there was last year. Despite a very warm fall, Boston managed to accumulate slightly above average snow, with heavier than normal snows falling in the ski resorts and interior locations.

So if you’re a snow fan, all is not lost. However, the odds are not with us. I would say about 3 out of 10 La Nina’s are snowy in Boston, or about only 33%. The rest of those years you can throw into the garbage.

The odds are better if you live well inland, and up north, where you may see 6 or 7 out of 10 La Nina winters on the snowy side. Time to move north!!

In the shorter term, the weather this week looks to bring back summertime temperatures to much of the region. In fact, I am rating this week a solid 9 out of 10!!

As we remember the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our country today, the weather could not be any similar than it was on that fateful day.

Expect nearly a 100% of full sunshine for the rest of today. It will be warm, with high temperatures near 80 degrees. Look for clear skies tonight, with lows only in the 60’s.

I’m expecting summer time weather for much of the remainder of this week! Look for excellent beach weather for the period of tomorrow through Thursday, with sunshine and highs in the lower to mid 80’s, and nightime lows in the 60’s.

The remnants of Irma may attmept to move through the area on Friday. While some computer models attempt to produce some rainfall, I mainly see just cloudy weather on this day, with slightly cooler temperatures, in the lower 70s. I can’t rule out some scattered showers, but a washout is not anticipated.

Any early scattered showers will move out on Saturday, leading to a pleasant day, with partly sunny skies, and highs in the 70’s. Sunday looks like a beauty! Sunny skies are expected, with temperatures near 80 once again!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will be discussing about how long we can expect this warm weather to continue for. I will also have a new tropical update, and also talk a bit more about what kind of weather we can expect this fall. In the meantime, If you love summer, put the sweaters away, and head to the beach!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Goodbye, Summer 2017…9/4/17

Hello! Happy Labor Day, to all! Much like the whole summer, the weather left a lot to be desired for around New England this weekend. Saturday was mainly sunny, but very chilly down on the Cape and along coastal communities!

Sunday was a washout, with the remnants of Harvey tracking through the region. The weather seems to have stabilized today, with sunny and pleasantly warm temperatures across much of the region.

Labor Day marks the unofficial end to summer around here. Autumn officially arrives on September 22nd. However, meteorological fall began on September 1st.

This typically means nothing to Mother Nature. It’s only a system the NWS set up to keep a better system for records.

Depending on the year, fall like weather can place a premature end to the summer party.

This has not been the case the past several years. I distinctly recall summer not missing a beat head into September.

In fact, Boston has experienced more 90 degree days the past several Septembers, than I can ever recall. The city typically averages one 90 degree day in September. September has truly been a bonafied summer month as of late.

This year has been different, to say the least. Early signs of autumn abound everywhere as of late. From splashes of fall color in August, to overnight lows in the 30’s in some suburbs, to actual snow on top of Mt. Washington…many folks are asking me, just what the heck is going on here?

Depending on the year, our weather in September can range from summertime heat, to cool autumn winds, and chilly nights!

Rather than blaming it on El Nino or La Nina, I believe it’s more of Mother Nature wanting to balance out patterns. The weather is always trying to balance things out!

No doubt, global factors play a role. Last year, we had a developing La Nina, and we had a warm autumn. This year, we also have another La Nina, yet we have a cooler look to the pattern this fall. In this case, the devil is in the details!

I talk a lot about El Nino, and La Nina. El Nino being the warm water phase in the south Pacific off of South America. La Nina is the cold water phase in the same location.

Typically, La Nina bring warm and dry winters to Boston. El Nino winters are typically cold and wet. However, there are different flavors to both of these phases. Other global factors can influence El Nino/La Nina, and bring different seasonal conditions here in Boston.

For instance, last year was a La Nina winter. While not a blockbuster winter for Boston, we did manage to receive slightly above normal amounts of snow. This, in itself was unusual for a La Nina winter.

No doubt, interior New England and the ski resorts received well above average amounts of snow last winter.

If La Nina or El Nino become too strong, it may alter the patterns enough resulting in less than average snow for Boston. Whereas the close these indeces are to neutral, the bigger the winter we typically get.

All in all, I thought last year turned out to be a fairly average winter for much of New England. Which is a rarity these days!

What about right now? Friends and family want to know why it’s getting so cold, so early! And is summer over?

My sister and brother in law were vacationing up in Maine last week, and they reported back to me that fall colors are already showing up!

My brother was down on the Cape, and he told me they almost lit a fire because it was so cold down there on Saturday.

Things do appear to be moving right along this year. Reflecting back to my comments earlier, Mother Nature is all about balancing things out.

We quickly forget just how warm it’s been in New England the past couple years. This includes a couple absurdly warm autumn’s. I believe this September is just a natural adjustment to the warm cycle.

After the record smashing winter of 2014-15, Mother Nature has been very kind to us the past couple years. I believe it was something like 22 out of 24 months that featured either above average temperatures, or even well above average temperatures.

The change began last March. After an unusually warm February, temperatures plummetted in March, resulting in a icy cold start to spring.

Temperatures rebounded in April to above average, but has been below in each month since then. The big question now, is this the start of a trend that’s going to continue into our winter, or is our warm ways going to return come November? I will continue to closely monitor this as we work deeper into autumn.

Looking over the weather charts this morning, it appears to me as if summer will be over sooner rather than later around here this year.

Because summer officially still has a couple weeks left, I’ll wait a week or two before writing a review of our summer, and seeing how my summer forecast verified.

Chatting with my sister the other day, folks up in coastal Maine had a unwanted guest return this summer. Remember the awful drought of last summer? Yes, it has reappeared in coastal Maine this summer.

For the most part, repetitive soaking rain and snow events have erradicated the drought down here in Massachusetts. However, as I was explaining to my sister, there still remains a long term drought in the system.

Meaning, we caught up to water levels for this calender year, but still hold a deficit from the past couple years. Even around the Boston area, a dry period as of late has resulted in a haunting appearance of the brown lawns and wilting trees of last summer and fall.

I don’t believe this is going to worsen moving forward. In fact, a slow moving cold front entering New England this week looks to bring a good soaking rain to the region on Wednesday and Thursday. Long range outlooks also look promising for precipitation events heading into late fall and winter.

Before I get to the forecast, I did want to chat about the implications of Hurricane Irma. A loyal fan and friend of mine asked me a excellent question on Facebook yesterday. She asked me if hurricanes weaken as they approach New England because of cold water? The short answer to this question is, yes!

Hurricanes need at least 80 degree temperatures to sustain their strength. Ocean temperatures just aren’t that warm up here off the coast of New England.

South of New England, off Long Island and the Cape, you may see some pockets of very warm water, due to the influence of the Gulf Stream.

With all this being said, this does not mean we are immune to hurricane strikes here in New England. If storms get caught up in the jet stream, they can accelerate, and not spend as much time over cooler waters.

The Great Hurricane of 1938 is a classic example of this. This storm was moving at an astounding 60 mph as it tracked off the mid Atlantic coast, smashing into southern New England! For comparison sake, Harvey was moving at a whopping 3 mph!

To this date, the 1938 hurricane is still considered to be the worst storm New England has ever seen, in recorded history.

Keep in mind this was back in 1938. Satellite imagery, and computer models in this day and age most likely would of prevented the catastrophy seen in 1938.

Nonetheless, due to a unprecedented storm surge, 600 people drowned in downtown Providence, as the ocean flooded the city.

An unheard of gust of 186 mph was clocked on top of the Great Blue Hill in Milton, Ma. before the anenometer broke!

Severe tree damage to the likes never seen before ravaged most of New England, especially areas of Vermont, due to the enhancement of hilly terrain.

Other notable hurricanes and tropical storms struck the region in 1944, 2 in 1954, and 1960. In more recent times, we’ve had Gloria in 1985, Bob in 1991, and Irene in 2011.

That was then , this is now. What’s happening with Irma? Latest computer model runs has its eyes set on Florida. Early indications show a track similar to Donna in 1960.

This was a catastrophic storm for Florida, which then tracked right up the east coast bringing hurricane conditions to each state on its way.

At this point, the effects, if any, for us here in New England is still unclear. Latest computer model runs are showing a direct hit on Florida, moving from south to north, across the whole state.

From there, current projections show the hurricane weakening, and dissolving across southeastern U.S. Because it’s still so far away, this could change.

Should the storm remain over the east side of Florida, with the center out in the Atlantic, it could track up the coast and be a bigger problem for us here in New England, as Donna was in 1960. I will be tracking this storm through the week, and will sure to update everyone if warranted.

Now for your weekly outdoor fall activity forecast. I will rate this week a 6 out of 10. Expect sunny weather for the rest of your Labor Day. Look for temperatures to warm up into the lower 80s. Tonight will be fair and warmer than previous nights, with lows mainly in the 60’s.

Watch for mainly sunny and warmer conditions for your Tuesday. If you have the day off, consider heading for the beach for a final time? Highs will warm into the mid to even upper 80’s! There may be some increasing clouds later in the day.

A strong cold front will be approaching the area tomorrow night, and stall over the region on Wednesday. This front will produce a line of showers and thunderstorms with it.

The heaviest rain should remain west of our area through tomorrow. However, expect these showers to approach Boston sometime tomorrow night, along with the chance of thunder. If skies permit, check out the full “Harvest Moon”!

Look for inclement weather for Wednesday and into early Thursday this week. It will not be raining all the time, but when it does, the potential exists for some torrential showers and thunderstorms, which could result in urban street flooding. Temperatures will cool into the upper 60’s and lower 70’s.

Expect conditions to improve just in time for the Patriots home opener against the Chiefs Thursday night. If you’re going, bring a jacket with you, as temperatures will quickly fall into the 50’s as the night wears on. Go Patriots!

Friday should feature a day with a sun and cloud mixture. Due to unstable atmosphere, there may be a pop up shower or thundershower during the afternoon. It will be seasonable, with highs in the lower 70’s.

Expect a mainly sunny, and fall like weekend here in New England. Temperaures will be in the 60’s during the day, and 40’s at night. No doubt, some colder rural areas will once again see some 30’s.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will undoubtedly be busy tracking Irma! Please check in for that update. I will also have a forecast for the upcoming autumn season, and fall foliage outlook if time permits. In the meantime, enjoy the fall, we all know what season comes next!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

A Touch of Fall…8/28/17

Hello, all! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! Though a bit on the cool side, the weekend remained dry, with no rain to speak of. After a hot day last Tuesday, temperatures have been steadily cooling off each passing day.

It happens. Every so often, this time of year, a cool airmass will invade New England from eastern Canada. If you look closely at the picture I posted attached to this post, and asked, is that frost? Yes, this is frost that occurred just the other morning on the fields of Mt. Washington! Yikes!

Does this mean summer is over? Well, frost on top of Mt. Washington this time of the year, is not that unusual. Don’t forget, it’s the tallest peak in New England, standing at 6,288 feet above sea level. Mt. Washinton has seen snow fall in each of the 12 months out of the year. This includes the three summer months of June, July, and August!

With all that being said, I look at clues like this, as signs from Mother Nature. During the fall, the atmosphere cools first in higher elevations, then slowly spreads to the valleys as we get deeper into autumn.

You may say, Pete, IT’S NOT FALL YET! Please don’t take away the last couple weeks of summer we have left! It was too short as it was! These are all valid points. It’s so hard to let go to things that we love!

While skiers around the region are licking their chops, beach goers and fans of summer are nervous as to what may lie ahead.

And for good reason. The early repetitive cool shots will begin to take its toll on our fleeting summer. Despite the chillier air amss, it’s still hasn’t been too bad here in late August.

But as September rolls in later this week, the nights will begin to get a bit longer, and the sun angle bit lower. Sometime shortly after Labor Day, you will wake up early one morning, and ask yourself, where did this come from? It’s freezing outside! At that point, we’ll come to the realize, that summer, is indeed over.

Yes, shorter than previous years. It shouldn’t be a total surprise. If you recall my summer forecast made back in May, I did mention to expect a shorter summer this year, with it most likely fizzling as we head into August.

Oh, it’s going to get warm again! Even this week, Thursday looks like it may climb back up into the lower 80’s. But from what I’m seeing, I do not foresee an endless summer that we’ve enjoyed the past several years, deep into November.

While temperatures steadily warmed heading into August and September past couple years, I’m expect a reverse of that trend this year.

The question then becomes, is fall really coming and staying? Well, this is a very good question. Long range computer data have been futile this year in seasonal forecasts.

Some computer models continue to build the chill into the east as we head deeper into September. While others, back off the cool look, and actually turns it warmer as we head into the second half of September.

A lot hinges on what role storms in the Pacific Ocean. Recurving typhoons in the western Pacific pump warm air northward towards Alaska. In return, cool air pools in eastern Canada, and depending on the jet stream, often times spills down into the eastern part of the U.S. Kind of like a see saw.

Computer models are forecasting some recurving typhoons heading into September. If this were to be a reoccurring thing, the weather patterns will indeed be racing towards an early start to winter around here.

For now, let’s plan on fall like weather arriving a bit earlier than normal for us here in New England. Next week, I will have a more in depth look at the weather for September, and a general outlook for autumn.

With all that being said, I don’t want to make folks nervous! The good news is, I generally see another beautiful September for us this year. While the past few Septembers have been more like summer, this year will have an autumnal feel to it. Perfect for apple picking and early fall foliage trips!

Overall, temperatures should average close to normal, with times of chilly weather, and also periods of mild days. The dry trend as of late should also continue, so long as passing hurricanes don’t get involved. I always believed our best month of weather is September. This year should be no exception!

As we prepare for fall like weather here in New England, folks in Texas have been suffering through a catastrophic natural weather event.

Hurricane Harvey, is the strongest hurricane to strike anywhere in the U.S. since Wilma of 2005. It’s also the strongest storm to hit Texas in nearly two decades.

Before the storm arrived, computer models were forecasting inches of rain like we measure snow in blizzards here in New England. Unfortunately, those numbers have been met, and then some.

So far, Houston has received over two feet of rain. As the circulation of the storm reaches the Gulf of Mexico today, it may actually reintensify into a category 1 hurricane once again. When this occurs, Houston may be flooded with another foot or more of rain!

This is an absolute natural catastrophy! One that has been in the works for years now. My thoughts and prayers go out to the poor folks in Texas, many who have lost everything they have. My hope is that FEMA provides the necessary support for folks who have lost so much.

Here’s your weekly beach and boating forecast. It’s going to be a fairly cool week for the beach. You may also run into boating difficulties due to a strengthening storm off our coast around midweek.

You could make a case for the beach on Thursday, as this will be the warmest day of the week, but you may have to dodge a few showers or even some thunder.

Next weekend is looking good, especially Saturday and Sunday. It may not be as hot as you would like it, but it should be fine for outdoor activities, including the beach.

Now for your detailed weekly summer forecast. I will rate this week a 7 out of 10. Fine September like weather. Expect a beautiful afternoon, with brilliant sunshine, and temperatures between 70 and 75.

It appears as if the smokey skies of the past couple days have cleared. This was due to prevailing winds from Canada, transporting wildfire smoke into our region.

Tonight will feature clear and chilly weather, with lows in the 40’s and 50’s regionwide. Later at night, low clouds may increase off the ocean.

While it should remain dry Tuesday, the combination of a brisk wind off of the ocean, and clouds streamimg in from a developing ocean storm, will make Tuesday feel more like early October. Expect high temperatures to hold in the upper 60’s, across much of eastern Massachusetts.

As the storm off the coast intensifies, a shield of rain may make it as far north as Boston for a time late Tuesday and early Wednesday.

This is not a gaurantee, and the rain may miss us all together. Nevertheless, expect brisk winds on Wednesday, especially in the morning. As the day progresses, expect with increasing sunshine. With a wind off the ocean, it will remain on the cool side, with highs barely reaching 70.

As winds shift to the southwest Wednesday night, expect temperatures to not be as cool, with lows mainly in the upper 50’s and low 60’s.

Thursday will feature warmer southwest winds, along with higher levels of humidity. Temperatures will respond, with highs mainly in the lower 80’s. Unfortunately, a cold front will be approaching the area, and may spark off some afternoon showers and thunderstorms across the region.

Behind the front, it will turn sharply cooler once again for Friday. Welcome September! With a brisk wind, expect it to feel decidedly more like fall, with highs mainly in the 60’s to near 70. With light winds, it will turn chilly Friday night, with widespread 50’s. A preview to things to come?

Temperatures may hold in the 50’s across urban areas. However, as we have seen lately, there will be some 40’s in usual cooler rural areas, and even some upper 30’s up north!

At this point, the first two thirds of the holiday weekend is looking good. Right now, Saturday looks to be the best of the three days, with sunshine and milder temperatures. Sunday should be okay too, with possibly some increasing clouds late?

Monday looks a bit iffy. I don’t see an all day washout by any means. However, a front will be appraoching the area, and may bring with it cloudiness, and possibly some showers at some point in the day.

There’s also an equal chance that this front may be delayed a bit, and the showers may hold off until Monday night. Temps look seasonal, mainly in the 70’s. As they say, timing is everthing!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will have a new monthly forecast for September, as well as a review for August.

I will also talk about our recent dry spell, and the impications it may have moving forward. Have you noticed the lawns lately?

If time permits, I will also have a general forecast for fall, not official yet. In the meantime, no worries about frost for a while here in Boston. But on top of Mt. Washington, snow is next!

~Have a safe & happy Labor Day weekend!~

Thanks for reading!

Pete

*Happy Birthday to my niece, Alex!*

Great American Eclipse! 8/21/17

Hello! Happy Great American Solar Eclipse Day! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! As has been the case the majority of the summer, Sunday proved to be the nicest day. By no means was Saturday a washout. After a murky start in some areas, it too turned out to be a decent summer day.

Friday was a different story, all together. Many forecasted heavy rain, but few knew exactly where it was going to fall. As it turned out, the ground barely got wet in the Boston area. This was not the case on the Cape and the Islands.

Torrential rains, to the tune of 3 to 8″ fell on the Cape Friday night. This is why forecasting widespread rain in the summer is so difficult. Computer models showed it, but were off in timing and locations. At the last second, the heaviest of rain shifted south of Boston.

I spoke with a friend of mine on Saturday, and he wasn’t surprised. He told me the worst of the weather typically splits as it heads close to the city, with heaviest falling north and south of Boston, leaving the city with high and dry!

I have to say, there may be some truth to the statement. I don’t know if you recall, but a couple of weeks ago, I forecasted a soaking rainstorm for Boston for the night the day I made my forecast. As evening approached, computer models shifted this heavy rain, where? Once again, south of the City!

I have been studying weather my whole life. Truth is, Boston does get its share of rain and snow. But I have to agree, heavier pockets do seem to avoid the city on a whole. I’m not 100% sure of this, but the ocean could play a role in stabilizing storms, especially in the summer, as they approach the city.

I have been watching another interesting trend developing over the last several weeks. After such a wet spring and early summer, it’s actually becoming a bit dry around the Boston area. Is it possible the severe drought we had last summer into the winter, is creeping back in again?

The pattern over the next several weeks does appear to be on the drier side. Abnormally dry to even moderate drought advisories have been posted along the coast of Maine this summer. It would not shock me, if these advisories began spreading down the coast, into the Boston area as we head into fall.

For the most part, the severe drought is over, and I do not anticipate it coming back anytime soon. We’ve had much more precipitation this year, and it’s been a much greener summer around here, too!

However, I do want to caution folks. The drought we endured was one of the worst in decades. While precipitation has been plentiful as of late, Boston is still running a deficit from two years ago. Will we ever make up that deficit? This is a difficult question to answer. Statistics are all relative.

If we are at normal or a bit above right now, do we just sweep the other very abnormally dry years under a rug and forget about them? I don’t believe we do. One of Mother Nature’s past time is to balance weather patterns out. I do believe we have more heavy precipitation in our future…perhaps with a stormy winter?

Yes, I hear your complaints! My brother in law cornered me yesterday to voice his opinion about this summer’s weather. He feels as if it has been disappointly cool and wet summer. I can understand, especially after the nearly 4″ of rain that fell in Falmouth Friday night.

So what’s the deal…is perception, reality? In my summer forecast, I cautioned folks that this was going to be a wetter summer than last year. Which it has been.

I also wrote that it was a going to be difficult to measure up to last summer. Anything less, and the perception would  make it seem like a crummy summer.

The reality is, is that it has been closer to a normal summer around here, than one would think. As is typical in New England, we’ve had a mix of just about everything.

While we’ve had our share of cool days, we have also had 3 heat waves this summer. None so far in August, but August was forecasted to turn suddenly cooler. It was forecasted to be a front loaded summer, with the hottest weather occurring earlier, rather than later,

With all that being said, the stats don’t lie. So far, the summer has averaged slightly cooler than normal. So my brother in law may be on to something!

The number of 90 degree days supports this, too. So far, Boston has had eleven 90 degree days. After starting out so strong, the heat has certainly petered out. On average, Boston hits 90 about 14 times each season. We may get one more tomorrow, then I don’t see anymore for the rest of August.

What does the rest of August look like? On average, it’s looking to be cooler than normal. In fact, come this weekend, many will be complaining that it’s too cold, especially at night!

I look to look at August in the calendar, similar to February. Remember the 70’s we experienced last February, and the case of spring fever gripping the region?

Well, I’m expecting something similar this August, but this time, it will be a case of an early touch of fall!

Does this mean summer is over? I’m not ready to declare that, just yet! I believe temperatures will come back to seasonal levels, if not a bit above, towards the end of the month.

Now, let’s get to the matter at hand. Today is finally the day! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, today is the Great American Solar Eclipse! In just a few hours, the moon will be passing between the sun and the earth, resulting in 63% coverage of the sun in the Boston area.

In a 70 mile strip, from the Pacific Northwest extending southeast across the country to South Carolina, folks are going to enjoy a total eclipse of the sun!

If you miss this eclipse, no worries! In April of 2024, another eclipse is going to happen! This time, totality will be much closer to Boston! In fact, far northern New Hampshire and Vermont will see 100% totality, while Boston may be about 80%. Definitely something to look forward to!

How’s the weather looking for the eclipse, today? Well, for the most part, it’s looking good. I’m slightly concerned about a thin veil of high clouds. The sky may have a slight milky appearance to it. It’s difficult to say exactly what the sky will be like at the peak time of 2:46 this afternoon.

Nonetheless, I don’t believe the sun will ever become 100% obscured. Remember not to look directly into the sun. If the sun is shining through, it’s still could be very dangerous to look directly up into the sun, without safety glasses.

If the clouds are thick enough, but still lets dim sun shine through, it may be possible to look up at the eclipse, without danger. This is your call, but proceed with caution! It’s always safer to have the protective glasses!

Here’s your beach and boating forecast. The best beach days this week look to be today and tomorrow. Wednesday may be okay too, but there is a risk of a few showers and thunderstorms.

Thereafter, it may turn a bit too cool to be at the beach later in the week, extending into next weekend. On the plus side, it looks like fantastic weather for camping and hiking!

Now for your weekly outdoor summer activity forecast. I will rate this week a 7 out of 10. Expect sunshine, mixed with some high cirrus clouds today. It will become very warm, and a bit more humid, with highs in the mid to upper 80’s.

Watch for more humid weather tonight, along with the possibility of some fog on Cape Cod, and the south coast. There will be no rain, with low temperatures mainly in the 60’s.

Expect warm to hot weather for tomorrow. It should be a great beach day, once the fog burns off on the coast. Computer models were forecasting temps in the lower 90’s, but some have since scaled back temperatures to the upper 80’s. I’ll split the difference, and call for a high of 90 degrees in Boston.

Tuesday night should be on the warm side, with lows mainly in the 60’s. A cold front approaching New England may touch off a few showers overnight, but no washout is anticipated.

Wednesday will feature a continuation of warm weather. As the front crosses the region, there is a chance of a few showers and thunderstorms during the day. Again, a total washout is not anticipated, but expect to get wet at some point during the day.

After this front pushes off the coast, a cooler and drier regime will settle into New England. Expect cooler and drier weather for the period of Thursday through Sunday.

Thursday may be the best day of the three. As cold air aloft settles into the region on Friday through Sunday, expect early morning sun, to give way to building afternoon cumulus clouds.

I can’t even rule out a brief shower or sprinkle. In patterns like this, the Cape typically fairs best, with the most amount of sun, with cloudiest weather in the hills and mountains.

Temperatures will be below average. With highs mainly in the 70’s, and lows in the 50’s. It would not shock me to see some low temperatures fall into the upper 30’s and 40’s in some of the colder valley locations! Brrrr!!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will have a sneak peek into our early autumn forecast. I will also let you know if there will be any summer left for us this season! In the meantime, enjoy the hot weather tomorrow! Like the eclipse today, it may be fading memory all too soon!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

 

 

Celestial Excitement! 8/14/17

Hello, everyone! Another late post! Expect this trend to possibly continue for a few more weeks, as I take my short weekend trips around New England!

This weekend landed me down on Cape Cod, in Falmouth. My schedule is a bit unusual, as I have Sunday and Monday’s off. Regardless, I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend, wherever you were!

The weather this past weekend was 50/50 proposition. Saturday was cloudy and muggy around Boston, with very little rain. Sunday was a major improvement! Much drier air penetrated into Boston during the early morning hours.

It was interesting to note how much more muggy the weather was when I made it down to the Cape around noontime. Within about a half hour of arrival, a sudden gust of wind pushed the muggy air temporarily offshore. So you could say the drier, more comfortable air was traveling right along with me!

I was very excited to see a new piece of weather equipment installed in my sister in law’s garden! According to the brand new rain gauge, they received approximately 2 1/2″ and a half inches of rain over the course of Friday and Saturday!

As skies cleared last evening, I wondered whether we would see any leftover meteors from the Perseid Meteor Shower event. The peak for this was Friday and Saturday night.

However, learning from past experience, there still was the possibility to see some leftover activity, even after peak had past.

With dark conditions, and away from city lights, we indeed did see some streaking meteors! Unfortunately, a vail of high cloudiness suddenly appeared, putting an end to the show! No worries, the next event is the Leonid Meteor Shower, which happens around the same date, but in November.

Speaking of celestial events, we are now less than one week out to the Great American Solar Eclipse! This is huge! Before I get into the details, let me try to explain to everyone what is happening, as simply as possible.

I am not an expert at astronomy by any means. But because astronomy is very much tied into the weather, I am very interested in these celestial events. I find it quite fascinating!

In simple terms, the earth takes 24 hours to complete one revolution on its axis. While it’s doing this, we are also moving at an astounding 1000 miles per hour, on our way to orbiting the sun, in 365 days!

While all this is happening, our moon is also revolving around the earth. To make one orbit around the earth, it takes the moon approximately 28 days to accomplish this.

This is where a lot of complex physics and mathematics come into play, and about the time that I head for the hills! Every once in a great while, the moon will line up perfectly between the sun and earth!

You have to speak with a astrophysicist to get all the timing of how and when these events occur. We only need to know that it’s going to happen one week from today, and may not happen again for many years.

Making things more complicated, only a narrow strip of the country will see a total eclipse. This strip is only about 70 miles wide, and is called the umbra.

These locations include from the Pacific northwest, from about Salem, Oregon, extending on a southeast trajectory through the middle of the country, in states such as Nebraska, Missouri, Tennessee, then towards South Carolina.

What about here in Boston? Any areas outside of the umbra, will be in the penumbra, or partially shaded area. Here in Boston, 63% of the sun will be blocked out by the moon.

The event begins at approximately 1:28 in the afternoon, event peaking at 2:46, when the sky will certainly look more like late afternoon around here. Certainly not as dramatic as areas in the umbra, but a fascinating event indeed!

One word of caution…do not look directly into the sun!!Not having the correct glasses can be very harmful for your eyes, resulting in serious damage!

You will need to where a pair of welders glasses to protect your eyes. If you can’t get your hands on these, which many of us can’t, they are selling special paper glasses with a completely dark lense.

To get official glasses, please make sure it says ISO on the inside part of the glasses. I have seen them for sale on line. If you get them, just make sure it has ISO stamped on the inside piece that goes over your ear! After you have the proper glasses, and pray for a sunny day, enjoy!

As for our weather, well…let’s just say we’re in the doldrums of summer. Not the dog days, yet! That may come towards the end of the month.

I’m not calling it boring, either! I don’t ever find the weather boring. It’s just a period of the year, when patterns tend to be on the tranquil side.

This is not all the time! We’ve had major hurricanes hit New England this month, along with catastrophic flooding. Of course, each month has its own historic moments.

So far, this August has been very kind. We’ve escaped the brutal heat, had plenty of rain, and no hurricanes threatening our region up to this point.

How about the rest of the month? Well, after this week, the second half of August is looking somewhat warmer than the first half.

Does this mean Boston may receive another heat wave? I can’t be 100% sure, but odds do favor hitting 90 degrees several more times before the month is through.

So far, we have not hit 90 in Boston this August. This is stark contrast to last August, when we hit 90 a whopping 8 times!

I am also keeping an eye on the tropics. Wow, it seems like getting the tropical activity going in the Atlantic the last several years has been quite the struggle. Of course, this is great news for nearly everyone!

Hurricanes and tropical storms are the deadliest and costliest storms on our planet. But it’s also nature, and we can’t control what happens.

Eventually, our good luck is going to run out. The streak continues of not having a major hurricane strike the U.S. since Wilma of 2005!

With ocean conditions near neutral in the Pacific, it would appear that the this hurricane season may be different than years past.

In fact, NOAA has actually increased their number of named storms and major hurricanes, in the mid season update. This is alarming.

The way I am seeing things, there has already been an increase in storms developing early on. Just today, Hurricane Gert has developed, but will stay out to sea.

However, as we get deeper into the season, I am concerned that some of these storms are going to develop into major hurricanes, and threaten the east coast, including New England!

I am thinking that this is the year when a major hurricane makes landfall somewhere along the east coast. This is just not my opinion, many experts also have similar concerns.

As always,I will be monitoring these storms very carefully as we move deeper into the season. This includes for us here in New England.

Now for your beach and boating forecast. As Hurricane Gert passes southeast of Nantucket, be aware of large swells on southern and southeastern facing beaches and in the ocean south of New England!

Otherwise, expect best beach days to be tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, then again on Sunday. Cape beaches will be battling fog at times, so patience is needed! Friday may also be okay, if showers stay to our west. More clouds and a period of showers is likely on Saturday, making this day iffy.

Here is your weekly summer forecast. I will rate this week another 6 out of 10. Expect somewhat muggy weather tonight, with lots of clouds around. Low temperatures will be in the 60’s.

Tomorrow should be a generally a dry day. However, I can not rule out some pop up showers and thunderstorms during the morning. With the departing storm offshore, temperatures will be held in the 70’s.

Wednesday and Thursday should feature dry and warm summer weather, with highs mainly in the 80’s. Enjoy!

An approaching storm, will mean more cloudiness on Friday. At this point, the showers and heavier rainfall appears that it will remain to the north and west of Boston.

It’s possible, no rain falls across southeastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod. It will continue to on the warm side, but no excessive heat is anticipated.

A cold front looks to swing through the region sometime on Saturday. This may trigger a few scattered showers and thunderstorms, but a washout is not anticipated.

If systems move according to plan, the front will sweep off the coast Saturday night, leading to yet another very nice summery day for Sunday.

This is important, as the Falmouth Road Race is held on this day! Good luck to all the runners, including my nieces Elena, Olivia and Nicole!

I’m not sure about the rest of the country, but the long range outlook for next Monday is looking quite promising for us here in New England, to view the partial eclipse!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will have a new tropical outlook. I may also chime in on the new Farmers’ Almanac outlook for this upcoming winter!

I will also have a new vacation forecast for next week. In the meantime, stay calm during the eclipse, it’s only Mother Nature showing off!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

P.S. Don’t forget those glasses!

Farewell, Dick Albert…8/7/17

Hello! I hope everyone had a great, weekend! I would say the weather turned out just about as planned, from last weeks forecast. Saturday continued the string of muggy days, with oppressive levels of humidity. Aside from that brief period of showers on Saturday, the weekend was generally on the dry side.

The showers on Saturday ushered in an airmass change which was welcome  across the region! Sunday featured breezy conditions, along with much drier air!

Temperatures still managed to get up to near normal readings, which is in the low 80’s this time of year. However, due to the very dry air, the wind quickly evaporated any heat away from our bodies, making it feel a bit chilly at times!

As for me, I headed up to New Hampshire this weekend. I find it so relaxing sitting on the screened in porch, watching all the Hummingbirds whizzing by me, along with a cool breeze, while writing my blog! I could get very used to this living!

Yes, we are well into August now, and so far, the forecast is generally going according to plan. When I made the summer forecast back in May, I did mention a sudden turn to cooler weather for August.

With that being said, the detailed portion of my forecast appears to be in jeopardy. The summer forecast called for slightly warmer than average temperatures, when in fact, the summer has averaged slightly cooler than normal. I called for between 14 and 17 ninety degree days this summer. So far, we have had 11.

With it being only August 7th today, there’s still time for temperatures to reach 90 again. In fact, computer models are in agreement, that it’s going to turn hot again around here, heading towards the end of the month.

However, I see this as a risky forecast. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I love studying trends in weather patterns. The trend lately has been to warm things up too much here in New England, only for things to change at the last minute, with cooler patterns dominating.

So far, this pattern has worked out to our advantage. The intense hot weather to our southwest has been blunted as it tried pushing into New England this summer. At the same time colder than normal weather across Greenland has been trying to push south during the summer.

Of course, jet stream winds would not allow this to happen during the summer around here. The result has been a pleasant equilibrium of  “near average” temperatures so far this summer, here in New England. This clash of the air masses has also led to plenty of rain across most of the region. This type of pattern was well advertised in my summer forecast back in May.

So this warm spell computer models are forecasting towards the end of August, should we bite? I recall the past couple years the pattern was reversed. Computer models kept advertising cold air is coming…it’s coming! However, when push came to shove, the warmth would always win out, delaying or cancelling any prospective cooldowns.

In the short term, the pattern has abruptly changed. The front which crossed the region on Saturday has brought a September like feel to it. I am expecting this pattern to persist for at least the next two weeks. You can expect near, to slightly below average temperatures during this period, along with episodes of rain and showers.

And in fact, an unusual storm for this time of year is heading our way, even as I speak. A strong storm for this time of year, is tracking along the boundary of cool air to our north, and hot air to our south.

This storm is expected to track just south of New England overnight, bringing with it soaking rains, especially from the Mass Pike on south. I find it unusual, because this is the type of low pressure one would see  during the winter time, bringing heavy snows to the north of the center.

Typically, this type of storm would track some 500 miles further to our north, this time of year. Quite unusual, indeed!

At this point, I’m not ready to cancel summer, just yet. Though I do feel August will end up slightly below normal in temperatures, I do believe there is a good chance for a burst of warm weather sometime in the second half of the month.

Beyond that, I’m not too sure what’s going to happen this fall. As I have mentioned many times, the weather patterns are volatile, and are in a state of flux.

There are many global factors that will be influencing our weather over the next several months. Both Pacific and Atlantic Ocean temperatures are changing.

What once looked like a central based weak El Niño developing in the Pacific this winter, is now tipping more towards a weak La Niña. This could have major implications on our patterns coming up for this winter.

Though La Nina’s can sometimes bring heavy snow to the Boston area, odds favor less than average snow, with warmer than normal temperatures. Last winter was a La Niña, which actually brought above average snow to most of New England, especially across ski country!

As we move deeper into the fall, I will be discussing about these factors in greater detail. We must enjoy the remaining time we have with summer, before it’s too late!

Before I get to the forecast, I wanted to talk about a sad day, that occurred this past Friday. Longtime Channel 5 meteorologist Dick Albert, or “Dickie” as known by many, sadly passed away.

I was touched by all the folks who paid tribute to Dick, by posting condolences and fond memories on social media throughout the weekend. Longtime friends Harvey Leonard, and Mark Rosenthal both posted touching messages to the beloved meteorologist.

I did not know Dick personally, but after watching him on television for decades, you felt like you got to know him.

This was especially true because of Dick’s personality. Dick Albert made watching the weather fun! Who could forget his acronyms, TTTC, too tough to call, BICO, baby it’s cold outside, or the weather looks “Just Ducky!”

Among other things, Dick challenged viewers with his entertaining quizzes. Who could forget when he answered the questions…he would start out with a low voice, then loudly trumped the answer…the answer is TRUE!

I could go on and on about Dick Albert. His passion for the weather certainly was contagious to other weather enthusiast such as myself. He loved the weather, but more importantly, he was a good man, who was devoted to his family, more than anything else.

There was the story that I read on line of a woman who was sick with cancer in the hospital, who’s one wish was to meet Dick Albert. From what I read, Dick took the time out of his day to visit this woman. This alone will tell you all you need to know about a persons character.

His one regret was that he missed the Great Blizzard of ’78 here in Boston. He began his career here in Boston just a few months after the storm hit!

Dick once said about his career, “it’s not only my vocation, but my avocation.” Few words that have such a big impact. My condolences go out to Dick’s family, his friends, and the entire meteorological community.

Now for your beach and boating forecast. Best beach days this week looks to be Wednesday through Friday. We may also salvage part of tomorrow, if the storm pulls offshore quick enough. Next weekend looks iffy at this point.

If you have plans to be on a boat later today and  overnight, I would strongly reconsider. An unusual strong storm is going to bring strong winds, torrential rains, and possibly thunderstorms off the coast tonight….especially in southern areas. Conditions will be improving during the day tomorrow, and continuing through Friday.

Now for your weekly vacation and outdoor summer forecast. I will rate  this week a 6 out of 10. Watch for clouds to rapidly increase and thicken for the rest of today. It will be comfortable out, with temperatures mainly in the 70’s.

Later today, some rain showers may begin moving into the area, as winds begin to back in off the ocean. Later this evening, rain is going to move into the area in earnest. As mentioned above, the heaviest rain looks to fall from Boston points south towards the Cape.

With the center passing south of New England, winds will back in from the northeast, and become gusty at times. Should the most intense dynamics pass close to Boston, overnight thunderstorms cannot be ruled out. At this point, I am expecting between 1 and 2″ of rain to fall in a fairly short period of time from Boston points south.

With the stormy conditions overnight, we will not see the full “Sturgeon” moon tonight. I hope you got to see it last night with the clear skies.

Tuesday should feature improving weather. Early showers and clouds should give way to brightening skies during the afternoon. As the sun comes out, temperatures should bump up into the lower 70’s.

Tuesday night should be fair and cool, with lows mainly in the 50’s in rural areas, and 60’s in the cities.

Wednseday through Friday should feature fine summer weather, with mainly sunny skies and warm temperatures. Humidity levels should also be in check, especially on Wednesday and Thursday.

As for temperatures, we should manage to get into the low to mid 80’s. Later Friday, it may become more humid,  along with a chance of a thunderstorm, as a front approaches.

As for this weekend, I am expecting some rain to fall at some point. Right now, odds favor sometime on Saturday, with Sunday being the better of the two weekend days. It will continue to be on the warm and on the humid side, with highs once again in the 80’s.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I promise to write a segment on the tropics, as things seem to be picking up. I will also have your new beach and vacation forecast. In the meantime, remember life is short, try and enjoy all the good things we have in our life, instead all the things we want.

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Mid-Summer Thoughts…7/31/17

Hello! I hope everyone had a great, weekend! After last weekends adventure, I decided to stay home, and recharge for more short travels the second half of summer! Although yesterday was close to a perfect 10…the weather last week left a lot to be desired for around here.

In the “it could of been a lot worse” department, much of New England was spared a winter like nor’easter storm this past Friday & Saturday. While last week was unusually cool for the last week of July, a massive rainstorm pounded the mid-Atlantic region late last week, with flooding rains, and strong northeast winds.

At one point, this storm looked as if it was going to foul up our weekend weather. And to some degree, the storm tried its best to penetrate into New England.

However, when push came to shove, an unusually strong high pressure, for this time of year in eastern Canada,  surpressed this storm, and squashed it out to sea.

This was good news for you, and for me. After I made last weeks forecast on Monday, I was surprised when I saw this storm show up on computer models. Had this storm hit, it would of certainly been a big blow for eastern Massachusetts and especially down on the Cape.

It would of also been a lousy forecast on my part, especially during peak vacation season. As it turned out, we only got fringed by the storm. Saturday started out cloudy, but the sun came out during the late afternoon around Boston. With the dry air draining in from the north, there was even a touch of fall in the air, come evening.

And indeed, Saturday night became quite chilly across the region! Low temperatures dropped into the 50’s across much of the area. In low lying areas, such as Norwood, Ma. the low dropped to an astounding 43 degrees! There was even a report of a low of 33 degrees in a rural town in Maine! This was a bit too chily, and certainly way too soon for many folks liking!

This was all forgotten on Sunday, as a picture perfect day unfolded across the region. With a 100% sunshine, low levels of humidity, and warm temperatures, I would of rated yesterday a top ten day of the year!

We are now exactly at the mid-point of summer. So far, I would call it a bit of an unusual season this year, but closer to normal than what you may think.

If you like variety, this has been a summer more of your liking. Unlike last summer, with hot and dry conditions, this year has been more of a classic New England summer.

Up to this point, Boston has received 11 ninety degree days. This is just about average for us, at this stage of the summer. However, the way we got to that number, has been a bit unusual. We have had three distinct heat waves this summer, one in each month, starting in May.

In stark contrast, cooler periods have punctuated the hotter ones, making it difficult for us to decide whether it has been a hot summer, or a cool summer.

When we average it all out, so far, it’s been a slightly cooler summer around here. My summer forecast certainly called for a cooler summer than last year…but I did forecast it to be slightly warmer than the average. It’s true, if we get 3 more 90 degree days in Boston, my prediction of between 14 and 17 days of 90 degree days will be on point this year.

The forecast of a wetter summer has also come to fruition. However, lucky for us, it certainly has not been a washout of a summer, by any stretch. We’ve had a couple rainy days, but nothing too excessive. I would say just enough to keep the lawns and gardens happy!

For the most part, beach goers have to be pretty pleased with this summer so far. No, it’s not as great as last summer, but there have been many good beach days so far, and many more to come!

So what about the second half of summer? Is it going to be more of the same, or is there going to be an abrupt change in the patterns?

Before I take a look at the future, I wanted to take a look back, and review July. Unlike last summer, this July was cooler and wetter. However, not as wet as one would think.

July in Boston is going to be wetter than last year, but still end up being a slightly drier than normal July. With all the swings, temperatures are running just about average, if not just slightly above, by a half degree or so.

Todays temperatures may make the difference whether we finish slightly above, or right at normal. Overall, the forecast for the month, turned out okay. I called for slightly warmer than normal temperatures, with above normal rainfall, but not by too much. I would give myself a B.

I’m not going to change too much here in August. I will ride the trends for the rest of the way. I believe we get another 3 or 4 days of 90 degree days in Boston. This should bring the call for betwen 14 and 17 days of 90 degree weather to be pretty good.

Don’t forget, September also averages one ninety degree day, too! If it’s anything like the past several Septembers, there could be another 2 or 3! But, we shall see.

In many cases, September features the best weather of the year here in New England. With cooler temperatures, but still plenty warm enough for the beach and outdoor activities.

As mentioned above, the past several Septembers have been much warmer than normal, with summertime heat extending deep into the month.

With all that being said, I’m still going to have to go with slightly below temperatures, on average, for this August. This is because, while I feel we’re going to get our share of warm weather, I believe we are susceptible to unusual cool spells in August this year. This has been the case so far, most of this summer. So keep the sweat tops handy!

Rainfall is a bit of a wildcard. Because we are going to be on the boundary of warm and cool air, I believe rainfall is going to be above average in most of New England this August.

Now for your beach and boating forecast. This is going to be a good week. The best beach days are going to be today through Thursday. With increase in humidity, Cape beaches may be fighting off fog the first part of the day, the deeper we get into the week.

This is fairly typical this time of the year, and should burn off by early afternoon. A front will be approaching later in the week, which may spawn an afternoon or evening thunderstorm Friday and Saturday. This is mainly across the interior…the Cape may see little if any rain this week.

Now for your weekly summer vacation and outdoor activity forecast. I will rate this week an 8 out of 10. Expect a beautiful rest of your Monday, with sunshine, and temperatures in the 70’s along the coast, and lower 80’s inland. Watch for fair weather tonight, not as cool as recent nights, with lows mainly in the 50’s and 60’s.

For the period of Tuesday through Friday, I am expecting an increase in heat and humidity across the region. This means temperatures are going to warm to between 85 and 90 each day, along with higher levels of humidity. It’s not out of the question, that some communities attain heat wave status, with three consecute 90 degree days.

In other words, typical summer weather. Early on in the week, you may find some slight cooling sea breezes at the beaches, if you’re lucky.

Along with the daytime heating, and higher humidity levels, there is a risk of an afternoon or evening shower or thunderstorm, each day. Especially across the interior. No washout is anticipated.

Right now, the weekend is looking good to me, as well. There is going to be a cool front traversing the region from west to east on Saturday.

It’s very difficult to pinpoint timing right now. However, I would say that Saturday stands the higher risk of a line of showers and thunderstorms crossing the area during the afternoon and evening.

It’s also possible, that the strongest dynamics pass just north of Massachusetts. This would leave the Cape and Islands with little if any rainfall at all.

If the system keeps moving along and doesn’t stall, early clouds on Sunday will give way to sunny skies, and cooler temperatures, with much lower levels of humidity.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will be discussing about our quiet tropical season so far. I will also have a brand new vacation forecast, and let you know if I see any heat waves or any other unusual weather headed our way! In the meantime, get out there & enjoy the beautiful summery weather this week!

Happy August, everyone!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Hello, Mt. Washington! 7/24/17

Hello! So sorry for the late post! I was in the White Mountains in New Hampshire this past weekend, and had very poor internet connection at the location I was staying.

I actually purchased an iPad to be more prepared for situations like this, but I always seem to be running into poor wifi service! It probably has something to do with my remote location!

So, you may ask, what was I doing up in the White Mountains?? Well, of course I was observing our interesting weather! But, I also had made plans to hike the king of all New England mountains, Mt. Washington! This was the second time I have climbed the mountain in two years.

Due to increased training, I am happy to report things went a lot smoother than it did two years ago. With that beeing said, the hike is still not for the faint of heart. To get to the most spectacular views one could ever imagine, Mother Nature makes you work for your prize!

I would highly recommend the hike to anyone. The scenic views are some of the best in the world! If you’re not up for the hike, you can drive your car up the famous Auto Road to the summit!

Just make sure your car is in very good condition. If you have any doubts, just let the professionals drive you up in the special equipped vans, and enjoy the scenery!

The weather could not of been more perfect! It would of been a shame if the day of the climb was today. The morning dawned with cool temperatures and a slight breeze from the northwest.

The trail I chose yesterday was Tuckerman Ravine. The ravine, is a bowl shaped feature, carved out by glaciers thousands of years ago. During the winter, snow blows off higher peaks surrounding the ravine, and fills the bowl up with as much as 55 ft of snow!

In fact, I was told by the Tuckerman Ravine lodge house attendant, that the last of the snow had just melted in the ravine just last week!

As I began my climb. temperatures quickly began to increase, under brilliant sunshine. However, as I continued to climb in elevation, temperatures began to cool, resulting in a perfect equilibrium of temperatures and cool breezes.

When I arrived at the lodge house in the ravine, I was relieved to find a beautiful deck to take a nice break. While taking a break, I was in awe by the beauty of the ravine, as I scoped out the next challenge of my climb.

At first glance, it didn’t seem so daunting. Up to that point, it was a pretty straight forward hike. Although stdeadily climbing in elevation, I found the first part of the hike to be fairly manageable. However, after chatting with some fellow hikers, I quickly learned that the most challenging part of the climb was still ahead.

As I began the second part of the hike, I quickly found out that the information given to me back at the lodge was on point. This was the part where you have to literally climb the wall of the ravine.

It wasn’t scaling a wall or anything like that, just a continuous steep incline of mostly carefully placed rocks acting like stairs.

It was the most strenuous part of the climb, but the views as you climbed up were worth the effort!

You would think you’re close after you finish that. However, there’s the “cone” of the mountain that you still have to climb. This too is a steep incline of mostly big boulders and rocks. This is where Mt. Washigton gets its appropriate nick name, “the rock pile.”

Finally, after several hours of hiking, you can begin to hear activity on the summit! As you climb over the last rock, and look back, you certainly feel a sense of accomplishment!

If it’s a nice day, as I had yesterday, you could see the surrounding mountain range for up to 80 miles. I could not help to think that I was standing in the same location that experiences some of the worst weather in the world!

This is also the same spot where folks who work in the weather observatory get to witness the Northern Lights! Due to its high latitude, and highest altitude in New England, they have a high vantage point to see the Northern Lights, when they occur. Someday, I would love to be up there, when the Northern Lights are happening!

As I mentioned earlier, the weather could not of been any better! However, todays weather was the complete opposite! Boy, was it cold and rainy when I woke up today up north! And it wasn’t just up there. The cold and rainy conditions persisted all the way back home to Boston!

After last weeks heat and humidity, I found it to be a refreshing change. I’m sure folks on vacation would beg to differ, but it can’t be sunny and hot everyday. That was last summer, and the forecast for this summer called for more rainy days, and to plan your schedule accordingly.

Speaking about the summer, Boston managed to pull out another heat wave last week. This was the cities third of the summer, one happening in each month. We are now up to 11 days of 90 degree days. As they say, it isn’t the heat, it’s the humidity. And last week was about as oppressive as it gets around here.

By no means do I believe that summer is over. However, I do believe that last week could of been the hottest of the summer.

Quite a significant pattern change has taken place in the atmosphere starting today. A ridge of high pressure (hot & dry) has parked itself acroos the western part of the United States and western Canada. Conversely, a trough of low pressure (cool & wet) has settled across the eastern part of the U.S.

This pattern looks like it wants to lock itself in for at least the next two weeks, perhaps even for the month of August.

This does not mean summer is over! It just means I am expecting times of cooler weather, along with warm periods. With this trough over the east, you can also expect the continued chance of periods of rainy weather.

At times, the Bermuda High is going to strengthen, sending warmer than normal temperatures into New England. This may lead to perhaps one more final brief heat wave sometime during August. But I see the patterns becoming more volatile, so enjoy the nice days when we get them!

Nothing is currently happening in the tropics, on the Atlantic side. All the activity is happening in the Pacific, which may be a sign that a weak El Nino is beginning to develop.

Now for your beach and boating forecast. Today was a washout. Tomorrow, while better, does not look like too much of a beach day. For this week, I would say the best beach days are going to be Wednesday, Thursday, and the upcoming weekend! Not too bad, if you’re on vacation.

Now, here’s your general summer outdoor activity forecast. I will rate this week a 7 out od 10, weighted heavily on the upcoming weekend. Expect leftover damp weather tonight, with areas of fog and drizzle. It will be cool for July standards, with lows in the 50’s regionwide.

Tuesday will sart off with low clouds and fog. I’m not going to tell you it’s going to become sunny, but we may see some breaks of sunshine during the afternoon, allowing for a nice sunset? It will be about 10 degrees warmer than today, which isn’t saying much!

Some low clouds and fog may flirt with the coast tomorrow night, otherwise, expect clearing and cool weather to continue.

Expect sunny and warmer weather to return for both Wednesday and Thursday. Temperatures will warm up to near normal, which is the lower 80’s this time of the year.

Another storm will be approaching New England later Thhursday. Therefore, watch for increasing clouds later in the day, ande at night.

Rain will be approaching the region Thursday night, and continue into Friday. It will be warm and more muggy during this period. It’s hard to say just how quickly the rain will move out on Friday.

One computer model says it gets out of here fairly quickly. However, another model lingers it into Friday night and early Saturday.

Right now, let’s go the optimistic route, and say possibly some early clouds on Saturday, only to become mostly sunny and pleasant as the morning progresses, with highs near 80. Sunday looks similar, with plenty of sun, and warm temperatures.

Well, that’s about it for now! I hope you enjoyed my short story adventure to Mt. Washington! In next week’s blog, I plan on reviewing the month of July, and give a detailed look as to how I think August will turn out weatherwise. In the meantime, Patriots start training camp on Thursday, which means fall can’t be far behind!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Typical Summer Patterns…7/17/17

Hello! Lucky sevens are wild today! I hope everyone had a great weekend! The weather, for the most part, cooperated. Saturday was a bit shaky, but Sunday proved to be a stellar summer day, with warm temperatures, and low levels of humidity.

I was debating on heading down the Cape yesterday to my brothers house in Falmouth. As it turned out, I’m glad I made the decision to go! The weather down here could only be described as a perfect “10.”

Such has been the patttern this summer. Some inclement weather during the weekdays, only to be followed by ideal summery weather on weekends! I’ll admit, we definitely had a relapse to a spring chill at the end of last week. Early week heat and humidity gave way to northeast winds, and temperatures only in the 50’s Thursday afternoon!

This quickly rebounded on Saturday, with summer like temperatures returning. As I mentioned last week, I could not be happier with the way the summer pattern has turned out so far.

I was talking with my brother & sister in law yesterday, explaining to them that New England has been in a nice “sweet spot” this summer. We’ve been caught in between two extremes, sort of say.

To our north, unusual cold temperatures and even July snowfalls have been occurring in Greenland, even as far south as northern Quebec. To our south and west, oppressive heat and humidity has been baking much of the country this month.

For us here in New England, we’ve been caught in the middle. Summer jet stream winds bringing a delightful equal mix of hot and cold weather, resulting in perfect summer temperatures, for the most part. In the weather community, the phrase we use for this is, “the blend is our friend.”

Not to pat myself on the back, but this is very much how I envisioned the summer patterns going this year. In chatting with friends and family, there hasn’t been too many complaints about the weather so far this summer!

Could this change? Yes, anything is possible. But from what I’m looking at this morning, it looks fairly stable to me, at least through the end of July.

Last week, computer models were forecasting a 3 to 5 day heat wave blasting into New England this week. Thankfully, this has backed off somewhat from earlier predictions. This reminds me of last summer, when computer models were always insisted cool weather was on the way. When push came to shove, the warmth always won out!

This year, computer models are trying desperately to bring  hot weather into New England, only to be thwarted away at the last moment.

I talk about this quite often with friends and family. Computer models can say all they want, but Mother Nature most always has the last word. Don’t get me wrong, computer models have made short term forecasting much more reliable in recent years.

Recent advances in technology have made computer models much more accurate even in the long range, helping save lives, make farmers more money in agriculture, and plan for heating and cooling demands.

The big question I have this morning, is if this there is going to be a big change to hotter weather in August, or will it be similar to what we’ve been experiencing? Some computer models want to really expand the heat into New England come August.

This pattern would be very similar to the past two years, and is very much in line with the seasonal shift that has been in place for several years now. This seasonal shift is direct result of warmer than normal ocean temperatures. Warmer than normal temperatures in the fall has delayed winter from starting by 4 to 6 weeks here in New England.

The same could be said in the spring. Colder than normal ocean temperatures have delayed summer from fully beginning until around mid July, or so. Could the same thing be happening this year?

This would be a rather dramatic change to my forecast, which actually had it cooling off in August this year. This makes August very much a wild card month, and could make or break the summer forecast given back in May.

For now, I’m sailing the ship steady as she goes. I’m fairly confident in the stable pattern for the rest of July. This means overall slightly warmer than normal temperatures, with some episodes of wet weather. Thereafter, it depends how ocean temperatures react to other global teleconnections whether a definitive change happens in August, or not.

Now for your weekly beach and boating forecast. Overall, I’m expecting a decent week of weather at area beaches. Because of the increase in humidity, you will be battling areas of fog and low clouds in the morning, only to burn off to hazy sun during the afternoon. This is especially true in beaches down on the Cape.

Elsewhere, fairly benign weather patterns will bring typical summer weather and decent beach days for most of this week. The only day I see questionable right now would be Friday, with a chance of showers…sound familiar? Thereafter, the front should sweep off the coast early Saturday, delivering yet another gorgeous weekend to much of New England.

How about if you’re on vacation this week? I think you picked a good week weatherwise. After all, they all can’t be like yesterday! With that being said, I would rate the weather this week a 7 out of 10. Expect an increase in heat and humidity around here through Friday. Most days will be on the very warm to even hot side, with highs in the upper 80’s.

However, it would not surprise me if some communities, including Boston, nudged or even slightly exceeded 90 degrees, especially on Wednesday and Thursday. Some cities and towns may even attain a official heat wave status. This is July, and we should expect weather like this.

As mentioned above, Friday is the day in question for some rainfall. Right now, I’m not expecting any washouts. However, with a cool front pressing into a very warm and humid airmass, a line of showers and perhaps a thunderstorm can be expected at some point during the afternoon, and evening.

If this move along as expected, we can look forward to clearing skies, with somewhat cooler and drier air moving in for both Saturday and Sunday. Temperaturs will be typical for this time of year, with highs in the 80’s, and lows in the 60’s.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will have a mid summer update, and give you a better idea what to expect for the second half of summer. I will also have a new tropical update, as well as a vacation forecast. In the meantime, enjoy the typical weather, it’s not too often that we can say that!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

 

 

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