Full Thunder Moon! 7/10/17

Hello! Sorry for the late post! Unfortunately, by the time you read this update, the day will be mostly over. However, with it still being July, we are still in the window of enjoying the longest days of the year!

Overall, it was a very summery weekend across the region. As has been the pattern, showers and thunderstorms moved through the area on Friday. This led to a steamy, somewhat hot Saturday. As is typical in summer patterns, some afternoon and evening thuderstorms rolled across the area, cooling it off.

This wasn’t any big cold front or anything. It was basically just a dew point line, or demarcation from muggy air, to dryer, and more comfortable conditions.

This set us up for a nearly perfect Sunday! I took a day trip down to beautiful Barrington, Rhode Island for a birthday party for a friend of mine from college. It was great meeting some new folks, and chatting about college days!

While I was leaving, the sun was setting over the bay in the western sky. Judging by the clear skies last evening, I knew the full “Thunder Moon” was rising in the east. I almost contimplated taking a more coastal route home and stopping somewhere to see it rise over the Atlantic.

No doubt the full “Snow Moon” is my favorite in February. However, I have to say the “Thuner Moon” is a close second. How could you not love this name? Native American Indians named it this moon due to the increased activity in thunderstorms this time of the year. It’s similar to the snow moon in February. It happens to snow a lot in February!

We’ve had our share of showers and thunderstorms this summer. In fact, it seems very much like the complete opposite of last year. While storms weakened and dried up as they approached Boston last summer, this year is different. Patterns have returned to normal, and summertime showers are once again watering our lawns and gardens.

What’s even better, is the timing of these storms. Up to this point, the pattern has been one of delivering inclement weather during the weekdays, and clearing out for the weekend! A perfect set up! I could not of asked for a better pattern!

Will it continue this way for the rest of the summer? Summer patterns have more or less established themselves. I am fairly confident that similar patterns are going to continue, at least for the rest of July.

I remember looking at long range computer model information to see what kind of summer we’re going to have. I remember having a tough time deciding which way to go. One camp was very hot, and the other, very cool.

I spoke about large bubbles of heat and pools of cool air. Where these airmasses set up in the summer, can determine whether you fry, or enjoy comfortable temperatures.

So far, the bubble of hot weather has situated itself in the intermountain Rocky region, and Alberta, Canada. This has left a shallow cool pool of air across the eastern parts of the U.S. Remember, cool is relative in July. It’s actually been a bit warmer than normal here in New England this summer.

I’m glad I blended the two extremes together! So far, it has blended into a forecast which I very much envisioned. A nice summer, with warm temperatures and more rain.

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that the east coast, including New England, may be at higher risk for a hurricane this summer. This is due partly because of ocean temperatures being very similar to those during the 50’s and 60’s.

Does this mean a hurricane is coming? No, I would not go there just yet. However, recent extended computer model guidance are hinting at increased tropical development heading into the second half of July.

Not to alarm everyone, but I would say there’e a 80% chance of sigificant hurricane hitting the east coast this year. Here in New England, I would give it a 60% chance. Yes, these are high percentages.

One reason for the high chances, is the massive high pressure area located in the central Atlantic. This is also called the Bermuda High, and is a common occurrence during the summer.

With a clockwise circulation, this tends to steer storms from east to west, as they traverse through the southern Atlantic Ocean, and Caribbean Sea.

Across the mainland of the U.S. a trough of low pressure (cool & wet) located to our west, in the Ohio Valley, this can form an alley way, or channel, for storms to run up the east coast.

As I mentioned earlier, nothing is imminent over the next two weeks. However, after that, we will need to keep an eye on the weather patterns. I will monitor this very carefully, and keep everyone updated, in case any storm threatens.

Now for your beach and boating, forecast. Best beach and boating days this week was today, possibly part of tomorrow, especially on the Cape, Wednesday to the north of Boston, then this upcoming weekend is looking fairly good regionwide.

Forecast for this weekend is somewhat low confidence. Saturday is looking good, but an approaching front may bring the threat of a shower later Sunday. Timing is everything, and it may be nice for the majority of the weekend. So don’t cancel any plans based on this forecast. No washout is anticipated.

Now for your weekly outdoor summer activity forecast. I will give this week a 6 out of 10. For the rest of today, watch for an increase in humidity. Otherwise, it will be a pleasant evening, as the waning full moon rises in the east.

Later tonight, a cluster of showers and thunderstorms may rumble across the region first thing tomorrow morning. After these move by, skies may brighten for a time, especially southeastern Mass and the Cape.

This will fuel instability, and may re-fire afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Some of which may be severe. We shall see if the Native Americans were right!

As is typical in the summer, shower and thunderstorm activity will diminish tomorrow evening. It will continue to be warm and on the muggy side, with lows dropping back to near 70.

A cool front will be pressing into Southern New England on Wednesday. This time of year, there isn’t a big push of air to clear it out.

Therefore, the most inclement weather could be along the south coast of Massachusetts. It will also continue to be warm and muggy in this region. Further north, dew point temperatures may briefly drop, and skies may try and brighten up.

If it does dry out, expect the muggy weather to surge north again on Thursday and Friday. In addition, a area of rain will be tracking through the region, making these two days the most inclement of the week. It’s not going to be raining all the time, and if timing works out, it could be just Thursday night into Friday morning. With the rain, temperatures will be held back to the 70’s on Friday.

At this point, this system looks to clear the coast on Saturday, leading to increasing sunshine, and a bit less humid, with highs in the 80’s. Looks like a good beach day.

As mentioned above, another cold front will be approaching from the west on Sunday. This means best weather will likely be in eastern New England, with a chance of some scattered showers arriving across the interior.

It will be warm, with highs in the mid 80’s. This forecast can change, please monitior local media outlets for latest updates.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will have my outlook for the rest of July. I will also have a new tropical update, as well as a new beach and boating forecast.
In the meantime, as the National Weather Service advises, “when thunder roars, head indoors!” Be safe!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

*Lighthouse photo credited to Megan O’leary

Picture Perfect, 4th! 7/3/17

If I were to barter with you, and say that we’re going to have 2 sketchy days for the holiday weekend, in exchange for three nearly perfect ones, would you take it?

Hello! Happy 3rd of July! Yes!! I would take the deal! Especially since the two days were the front end of the holiday weekend. And those two days were not any washouts by any means.

After some late afternoon showers and thunderstorms on Friday, many locations saw the sun burn off the low clouds on Saturday, resulting in a hazy, hot and muggy afternoon.

While there were thunderstorms in the area, most from the Boston are on south didn’t even see any rain this past weekend.

In fact, Sunday turned out to be a top ten beach day of the year, with lower levels of humidity, and temperatures topping off at 90 degrees.

With the high temperature of 90 yesterday, this marked the 8th time Boston has reached 90 degrees this season. Back in summer 2014, we hit 90 degrees for a total of 8 times the entire summer!

Boston continues to pile on the 90 degree days this summer. Should we keep this up, we would be on pace in having a summer similar to last year, when Boston reached 90 or better a whopping 22 times!

But as I alluded to in past updates, I still believe this summer is going to be “closer” to average, than anything else.

On average, Boston rceives close to 14 ninety degree days in a typical summer. My forecast is for between 14 and 17 days of 90 degree weather this year. This would place this as a slightly hotter than normal summer, but a bit cooler than last year.

Have you ever wondered what the hottest temperature ever recorded in Boston was? That was 104 degrees, set back on July 4th, 1911! Hard to believe we havn’t been this hot since!

I remember back in 2011, Boston reached 103 degrees on July 22nd, in the midst of a 7 day heat wave. That was an extremely hot stretch of weather!

What’s the hottest temperature ever recorded in our state? That would be a sizzling 107 degrees, back on August 2nd, 1975 in New Bedford. Yes, that’s New bedford on the south coast of the state!

I always found that an odd place for the hottest temperature ever recorded for our state. I would of thought it would be in southeastern Mass, but at an inland location, such as Brockton, Randolph, or Mansfield.

But, meteorologically speaking, this makes sense. It had to be a perfect wind trajectory for temperatures to get this hot at this coastal community.

Typically, New Bedford is 10 to 15 degrees cooler than inland areas. This is because the prevailing winds during the summer is from the southwest.

While this wind direction broils Boston, this is actually a seabreeze for the south coast of New England. I would bet on that day, the winds were blowing from the west towards the east.

With this trajectory, the wind blows off the berkshires towards the coast. As it blows downwind off the mountain, the air compresses and heats up!

With New Bedford being about as far as you can get in southeastern Mass, without being surrounded by water, Mother Nature took advantage of every bit of warming possible, resulting in the record temperature!

Speaking of hot weather, June turned out to be a warmer than normal month in Boston. Boston experienced a sweltering heat wave way back at the beginning of the month. We finished with 4 ninety degree days.

Along with the warm weather, it was also very rainy, with Boston receiving nearly 4 times more rainfall than what we received last June, and nearly 2″ above the normal amount of rain in June.

How is July looking? Overall, I would keep the same theme going so far this summer. I’m expecting generally warmer than normal weather this July. I can see between 5 and 7 days of 90 degree days this month. We’ve already had one yesterday!

There is the possibilty of another heat wave with between 3 and 5 days of 90 degree temperatures in succession. This is slightly warmer than the longterm average, but cooler than last summer, when when Boston recorded 12 ninety degree days!

Along with the heat, be prepared for times of showers and thunderstorms, which may include some severe weather. This will make July another wetter than normal month across much of New England.

One note of concern. Meteorologists have been monitoring tropical activity developing earlier than normal off the coast of Africa.

It’s not out of the question, that an early season tropical storm or even a hurricane threatens southern New England over the next month.

I know I say this nearly every summer. But patterns and ocean temperatures are more and more resembling the active periods we saw here in New England back in the 1950’s.

I will be monitoring these developments very carefully, the deeper we get into hurricane season. We are way overdue for a full fledged hurricane to strike New England. As I have said before, it’s a matter of when, not if.

Before we have to worry about any of that, we have a couple spectacular days to enjoy! If your plans take you to the ocean, the weather could not be any better.

If you are in the mountains camping or hiking, same goes for you! Expect temperatures in the 80’s, with dry weather for both today and the 4th itself.

Now for your general outdoor summer activity, and vacation week forecast. I will rate this week a 8 out of 10. For the rest of today, expect sunshine amidst some puffy fair weather cumulus clouds, with humidity levels dropping as we move deeper into the day.

Some locations may make a run at 90, especially near the coast and southeastern Massachusetts, but many will top off in the upper 80’s. I would call it a fantastic beach day!

For communities holding firework displays tonight, it could not get any better! Watch for less humid weather, with crystal clear skies, and comfortable temperatures. Look for the bright colors of the fireworks to be vivid, against the dark sky background. Have fun and be safe!

Tuesday may turn out to be yet another top 10 day of the year! Happy 4th of July! Expect dazzling sunshine, with deep blue cobalt skies.

There may be a few decorative puffy clouds around, but that will only add to the beauty of the day. It just doesn’t get any better than this, for time of year!

Temperatures will be slightly cooler than today, with many locations between 82 and 85 degrees. It may hold in the upper 70’s along the beaches with local seabreezes.

Expect perfect conditions for firework displays across New England tomorrow night. Boston will see warm temperatures with low levels of humidity, under perfectly clear skies. What a night! Enjoy the firework displays, everyone!

The nice weather continues on Wednesday, with lots of sun and comfortable temperatures. Expect highs to be a couple degrees either sid of 80. Humidity levels will remain low, with no chance of rain. A fine day, indeed!

You may notice a increase in the humidity on Thursday. Southwest winds will begin to transport warmer and more humid air into the region. With temperatures warming into the lower 80s. I’m not expecting any rain on Thursday.

A slow moving cold front will be pushing its way through New England on Friday and Saturday. Expect an increase in heat and humidity levels on both days. Watch for temperatures to be in the mid to upper 80’s both days.

While the chance of rain will be increasing, I don’t believe Friday will be a washout by any means. In fact, the showers may wait until evening to move through.

Some showers and thunderstorms may linger into Saturday. I doubt it will be an all day rain, but be aware that it may be unsettled at times.

Right now, I am expecting the front to push off the coast by Sunday. While there remains the chance of a pop up shower, I’m expecting a very nice day across most of the region, with good beach and boating weather anticipated. It will also be less humid, with temperatures mainly in the mid 80’s.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will continue to monitor the tropics, and see if there’s anything to be concerned about.

I will also be monitoring our temperature trends, and let you know if I see any heat waves, brewing. In the meantime, they say a picture is worth a thousand words…in this case, 1434 to be exact!

Thanks for reading!

~Wishing everyone, a safe and happy 4th of July!~

Pete

Hit & Miss Showers…Warm! 6/26/17

Hello! I’m glad to report things have settled down a bit in my life! If anything, this gives me more time to focus on the forecast for the upcoming holiday weekend!

Despite not being able to prepare as much as I normally do, I felt that the forecast for last week turned out quite well. Every once in a while, even Mother Nature can be forgiving!

One thing that caught me a bit offguard, was the surge of heat & humidity at the end of last week. I didn’t hear too many complaints, as temperatures eclipsed 90 for the seventh time this season on Friday. It was also the 4th time hitting 90 this June.

So this begs the question, has it been hotter than normal so far this summer? Remember, summer officially began just this past Wednesday. However, for record keeping, meteorological summer began on June 1st.

With Boston already experiencing two official heat waves, the answer to that question is yes, it has been a slightly warmer than normal around here. How we arrived to this point, is quite a different story.

Back in May, we had a very unusual early season heat wave. The leaves had barely bloomed, and we were talking temperatures in the mid 90’s!

However, this was offset by several very chilly episodes, which actually resulted in May averaging below normal, for the first time since 2008! Who could forget temperatures only in the 40’s on Memorial Day?

So far here in June, temperatures have been above average for the month. As far as I can see, this appears likely to maintain itself for the balance of the month.

This was aided but yet another heat wave a couple weeks ago. This heat wave helped Boston set a record for the earliest such occurrence of two heat waves before June 14th, since records began being kept back in 1892!

So despite the chilly episodes, I would say it has been warmer than normal here in Boston so far this summer. This is no surprise to me, up to this point. My summer forecast calls for a slightly warmer than normal summer in Boston, with above average amounts of 90 degree days.

Boston typically averages approximately fourteen 90 degree days in the city. I’m anticipating between 14 and 17 days this summer. We’ve already had 7, and summer is not even a week old!

Am I concerned this number may exceed the forecast? Well, anything is possible! However, I am fairly confident that the forecast is going to hold true. I strongly believe that this is a front loaded summer…meaning our hottest weather is happening now, rather than later.

For instance, last year, we only had one measly 90 degree day up until this point. I remember talk of a cool summer until the second half of July came in with 12 days of 90 degree temperatures! The heat continued in August and even into September. When all was said and done, Boston racked up 22 days of 90 degree days!

Meteorologists were calling it “the endless summer” last year. Long range computer models were painting a lot of red (above normal temperatures) on the maps heading into the fall. And though cooler than the year before, mild to even warm weather, did indeed, continue right through November.

Not only do I believe it’s going to be somewhat cooler, but it’s also going to be wetter. We’ve already received nearly 4 times the amount of rain this June, compared to what we got last year. The dry June was a harbinger of things to come, as Boston endured it’s driest summer on record!

Of course all this is relative. It may not be as hot and dry as last summer. Truth be told, it’s most likely going to turn out to be a fairly average summer around here when all is said in done. Which usually sees our share of hot weather, and nice days.

As I mentioned in my summer forecast, this is not going to be last summer. You must plan accordingly, and be prepared for more rainy days.

When I formulate my summer forecast, I like to try and anticipate where the hot and cool air masses are going to be persistant. Think of it like a bubble of hot air, and a pool of cool air, in the atmosphere.

Last summer, the bubble of hot air was certainly situated across much of eastern North America. Now that the summer pattern is beginning to establish itself, I’m getting a better idea where these airmasses are going to present.

It appears as if bubbles of heat are setting up across the desert southwest and the southeast part of the United States. New England is going to be in a transient zone of cooler air masses to our north, and oppressive heat to our south. With a fast upper air pattern, we are going to enjoy both air masses during the course of the summer.

In addition, being so close to the dividing line of cool and hot, I’m expecting more episodes of heavy rain this summer. It’s not going to be a washout summer, it just means you will need to plan accordingly for rainy days.

With all that being said, there’s still conflicting data coming in, regarding as to just how hot it’s going to get around here this July. Just this morning, a reliable computer model shows a rather large bubble of heat building across much of the United States, coast to coast.

Should this come to fruition, this would lead to a very warm, to possibly even hot stretch of weather for part of July. With July being the warmest month of the year, this is not too surprising to see.

Still, this summer forecast has given many long range forecasters fits this year. There has been no strong signal for any one particular pattern establishing itself. The best way to approach this, is to blend the extremes together.

Again, I’m forecasting a warm summer, but not as hot as last year. It’s a long summer, and many things could still turn out differently than what I’m anticipating.

Okay, I beat the summer forecast drum to death! I want to get to the important forecast for the upcoming week. First, I would like to give a beach, boating and camping forecast.

Expect less humidity this week, with the best beach days being today, Wednesday and Thursday. If you’re going to be out on the water, keep an eye to the sky tomorrow afternoon, then again Friday through Sunday. With humidity increasing later this week, the risk for fog and lower visibilities will increase as well.

Now for your detailed forecast, extending out through the 4th of July! Expect brilliant sunshine for a bit more today. Then, much like yesterday, billowing clouds will develop during the course of the afternoon. This is due to some cold air aloft, which works on the suns heating during the day.

Because the cold air is deeper up north, expect pop up showers and maybe even a rumble of thunder later today. It will be somewhat cooler and drier than recent days, with highs mainly in the upper 70’s.

As the sun sets, the showers will diminish as we lose the heating of the day. it will be cool and comfortable, with lows mainly in the 50’s and lower 60’s.

Another cold pool aloft will move through New England tomorrow. Because it will be be more pronounced, there is a greater risk of showers and even thunder later tomorrow and into the evening. It will even be a touch cooler than today, which may make it not the best of beach days. The best area for beach will be on the Cape.

Skies should clear after 8 PM tomorrow night, leading to cool temperatures, and lows mainly in the 50’s.

Wednesday and Thursday should feature more stable conditions, with generally dry weather, and highs between 80 and 84 degrees. A warm front will be pushing throught the region during Thursday. This could introduce a chance of a few showers Thursday night. It may start to become more muggy, too.

I’m not sure whether it will get as hot as last Friday, but expect this Friday to feature very warm to maybe even hot weather. Depending on how much sun we see, temperatures may make another run at 90 during the afternoon, along with higher levels of humidity.

At this point, the weekend does not appear to be a washout. However, it will remain warm and very muggy, and wind shift boundries will be close by. Therefore, there’s a chance of showers and thunderstorms at just about any point during the weekend.

I believe they will be air mass driven, which means if the sun comes out, thunderstorms are more likely during the afternoon and evening hours. So keep an eye to the sky! Temperatures should remain in the 85 to 90 degree range through the weekend.

Expect similar weather on Monday. There may be a stronger push of a cool front on Monday. This may result in another round of showers and storms.

If this front progresses enough offshore, it may clear us out for us to enjoy a nice day on the 4th itself, with sunny skies and lower levels of humidity! I will monitor this and of course have a update on this forecast next Monday.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will have my new preview for the month of July. I will also review the month of June. With it being just the day before, I will also have a more precise forecast for your holiday.

In the meantime, it’s time for fireworks! Not to be outdone by man, Mother Nature may also provide her own display this year!

Thanks for reading, everyone!

Pete

Sailing Into Summer! 6/19/17

Hello! Sorry for the late post! I must say, over the years, June has become a particularly busy month! Between birthday parties, graduations, weddings and Father’s Day, there always seems to be something fun going on! To top it off, many folks want to wrap up spring projects so they can relax for the summer.

As for the weather this past weekend, well, it all depended where you were. After last weeks scorching heat wave, the weather changed, as we headed towards the weekend.

Friday started off nice, but a dark cloud approached from the west during the course of the day. Later in the day, torrential downpours developed across the region, resulting in local street flooding. I was expecting some scattered showers, but I did not anticipate the ferocity in which the rains fell in.

I apologize if this fouled up outdoor plans. However, keep in mind the summer forecast. I called for a warm but wetter summer this year. Also, to make plans accordingly, as showers and downpours will be much more pronounced this summer, compared to last.

Later in the evening, the rains subsided, yielding to areas of dense fog and drizzle. Though not perfect, the weather could of been a lot worse for Sail Boston this weekend, as the majestic Tall Ships arrived in Boston Harbor on Saturday.

The day started off murky, with areas of dense fog along the coast. Later, the fog lifted, yielding a brighter afternoon across the region, including Boston Harbor.

Sunday began in a similar fashion. However, the sun burned off the fog quicker, and boy did the humidity levels sky rocket! This led to a very uncomfortable afternoon, under hazy sun, and temperatures in the mid 80’s.

As I mentioned earlier, it depended on where you were. Reports from the Cape had the fog and cool weather hanging on through much of the weekend. This is typical this time of year, as the contrast of the cool water temperatures and warm, muggy air, promotes thick fog.

With time being short this week, I’m going to write an abbreviated blog this evening, concentrating on the summer forecast. With the first official day of summer arriving on Wednesday, I wanted to give everyone a fresh update on what I’m thinking for the weather this summer.

After reviewing the latest data, and reading several reliable technical discussions, I’m happy to report that I am not changing my original forecast for the summer made back on May 23rd!

This may surprise some. Several folks asked me if I was nervous about the early season heat in Boston th Boston this spring. Yes, I was nervous, and continue to monitor the temperatures very carefully.

It’s been quite unusual, to say the least. Overall, the pattern has been a cool and wet one. However, while in this “cool” pattern, we happened to have two early season heat waves before June 14th. This hasn’t happened since records began being kept dating back to 1872!

Just a brief reminder, the forecast was for a warm summer, with near to slightly above average temperatures. Boston averages about 14 days of 90 degree temperatures from start to finish.

I’m still calling for between 14 and 17 days this summer. We’ve already had six, and I’m anticipating more coming up this July. You may think with getting off to such a torrid start, that Boston may top 20 ninety degree days.

I was thinking such thoughts, too! However, along with the bursts of heat, I’m also anticipating cool air to be lurking close by. This should prevent any prolonged heat waves to occur.

In addition, it’s going to rain a lot more than last summer. This too, will prevent excessive hot weather. Nonetheless, I believe it’s going to be on the warm side, especially through mid August.

Thereafter, we may see a sudden change to cooler weather heading into September. So enjoy the hot weather while you can!

If the forecast were to bust one way or the other, I would say it would trend towards 14 rather than 17 ninety degree days. We shall see as we head deeper into the summer. As always, Mother Nature has the final say in these matters!

Now for your weekly summer outdoor activity forecast. I will rate the rest of this week a 7 out of 10. Some shaky periods, but overall trending drier, and less humid.

Expect any weakening showers to diminish and end overnight. Too bad, as a nice thunderstorm could of broken the humidity for a time. So expect the muggy weather to continue overnight, with lows in the upper 60’s.

A cold front will be slowly pushing offshore Tuesday morning. This may trigger a few showers across eastern Massachusetts, otherwise, expect humidity levels to drop during the afternoon, along with gusty wind. Temperatures should still reach the low 80’s, but will not feel as sultry as it has been.

Tuesday night will continue to feel the humidity levels drop, as conditions remain on the dry side. Expect lows to drop into the 50’s and low 60’s.

A cold pool aloft will trigger afternoon clouds and a chance of a few showers, on Wednesday, happy summer!! It does not appear to be a washout at all. Just a disturbance moving through the atmosphere. It will be warm, with highs in the low 80’s.

Thursday appears to be the pick of the week. We may be in between systems, under mostly sunny skies and dry conditions. It will be seasonable, with highs mainly in the upper 70’s. If you can make it to Boston Harbor to see the Tall Ships sail off, it shoud be a stellar day!

More changes arrive on Friday and Saturday. Expect an increase in humidity, along with the chance of afternoon showers and possibly some downpours. It’s difficult to say whether it’s going to be as bad as last Friday, but plan indoor events just in case.

If things progress as computer models say, early morning fog and showers should move out during Saturday, yielding to less humidity during by evening.

This may set us up for a very nice Sunday, very much like Thursday. With low humidity levels and abundant sun. Hope this works out!

As promised, the long range computer models now have the 4th of July weekend within their time span. It’s very preliminary, but right now, I’m fairly encouraged with the way it’s looking.

A front may bring rain to the region on Friday (again!), then maybe something on Monday (sound familiar?), only to clear out nicely for the 4th. I will monitor this forecast very closely, for everyone!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will have a new beach and boating forecast, as well as a camping and hiking outlook. I will also have a better idea for the 4th of July holiday weekend forecast! In the meantime, like the Tall Ships, summer will soon sail off…so enjoy!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Summer Sizzler! 6/12/17

Hello! I hope everyone was able to get out and enjoy the summery weather this weekend. In a dramatic turn of events, the weather has gone from a winter like chill, to the steam heat of summer…seemingly overnight!

Saturday began the transition, with temperatures warming into the mid 80’s, under partly sunny skies. Sunday became even hotter, with Boston registering its 4th 90 + degree day of the young season, with a high temperature of 92.

This was in stark contrast to the record tying high low temperature of 52 degrees set just last Tuesday!

As longtime Boston meteorologist Mark Rosenthal says, “it’s the extremes that make the averages!” After reviewing the data since the beginning of the year, this is so true!

For example, one would be very surprised that the three month period of meteorological spring, consisting of March, April and May, actually averaged out slightly above average in temperatures!

It’s all relative. While March and May turned out cooler than average, April was quite a bit above average. Couple that with an unusual early season heat wave in May, and temperatures actually were a bit above the norm.

In addition, we had many days in the 80’s in April…and three days of 90’s in May. So when it got warm, Mother Nature made the most of the heat!

Speaking of heat, today we are in the middle of our second heat wave of the season. I get many friends and family asking me what constitutes an official heat wave, and is it early for us to get heat like this?

For a heat wave to become official, the observation site must record at least three consecutive days of 90 degree temperatures, or higher.

Is it early for heat waves? The short answer to this question is, yes!! In fact, if Boston reaches 90 tomorrow, it will be a record! Since records began being kept in 1872, it will be the first time Boston has had two official heat waves before June 14th!

This early season heat is quite unusual. Astronomically speaking, it’s still officially spring. Summer officially does not arrive until June 21st. After tomorrow, Boston would of reached 90 degrees for the sixth time, the quickest at has done that on record.

If you were to extrapolate the rest of the summer at just being average, we would end up at around 14 days, which is about the norm that we get in a typical summer.

But here lies the question. I was not expecting such a surge of 90 degre days so early in the season. My summer forecast called for between 14 and 17 days of 90 degree days this year. Should I bump up the number or stay the course?

When I made my forecast, I did reserve the right to make some adjustments when the official summer solstice arrives, on the 21st.

If I were the panicking type, I would say this forecast was a bust! We’re going to go well over 20 days of 90 degree temperatures, and change my forecast! But my research shows me otherwise.

The forecast called for a warm summer, with more rain than last year. In the end, I still have confidence of a fairly normal summer in Boston. Both in regards to temperatures and rainfall.

From what I’m seeing to this point, I see no reason to make any big changes. Seasonal forecast is a live and learn challenging proposition. To be good at it, you have to remember previous mistakes, and have a good memory of past patterns.

Three years ago when I called for 100″ of snow in Boston in November, I panicked in January when we only had 4″ of snow on the 23rd, and downgraded the winter. The rest, as they say, is history!

It’s very difficult to say exactly what’s going on this year. Most folks would say, I don’t care what’s going on, just keep it coming!

I posted a post yesterday on Facebook, telling people not to complain about the upcoming heat. Most friends were more than happy to oblige with the request. There was one friend who already claimed that it was too hot! But I believe he was just being facetious!

Is it possible these surges of heat continue, and even intensify during July and August? Could we be on our way to much hotter summer than I anticipated? I would say, these days, “anything is possible.”

I’m not going with this idea right now, but I will be monitoring it very closely. It could be a summer where we see most of our intense heat before the solstice, then we settle in to a warm but not too hot pattern for the rest of the summer. This is kind of what I’m anticipating to happen this year.

Long range seasonal computer model runs are have been changing their solutions from run to run. This means there’s still quite of bit of variance.

One run will say a hotter than normal summer is on the way, while the very next run is cooler. While still others say about average. So you see, it’s still a bit of a wildcard.

Another wildcard is the upcoming hurricane season. I touched on it a bit last week, and gave you my thoughts at what I thought the season may bring. There’s a reason why many steer clear from giving hurricane forecasts.

It’s difficult enough forecasting the track of a hurricane when it develops, never mind giving the public a forecast at how many storms there will be, and how many will turn into major hurricanes. At best, it’s an educated guess.

There are so many variables that go into how hurricanes develop, and whether they will turn into a major storm, or not. Recent data shows that the ocean temperatures in the Atlantic may be more favorable for hurricane development later on this summer.

In addition, the exepected El Nino seems to be sputtering to develop. With these two factors, I believe that we may indeed be dealing with a more active Atlantic Hurricane season this year.

Remember, the last major hurricane to strike the U.S. was way back in 2005. This is a staggering statistic. To say we’re way overdue is an understatement.

Even worse, is us here in New England. The old saying is not if, but when another storm is going to hit. The last hurricane to make a direct landfall was Bob, back in August of 1991.

Bob was a category 2 (with winds of 110 mph) when it made landfall in Newport, Rhode Island. Because Bob was moving northeast, the worst of the storm was felt on the southeast side of the storm. Therefore, Cape Cod bore the brunt of the damage. I remember here in Boston, it turned out to be just a windy, rainy day, with minimal damage.

This was not the same story on the Cape, where moderate to even severe damage was observed. Whatever happens this year, I will be monitoring the tropics closely, and update everyone on any impending threat!

Now for your weekly beach and boating forecast. Expect great beach weather for the rest of today and into tomorrow. However, keep an eye to the sky tomorrow afternoon, especially for beaches south of Boston.

A cold front will be slicing through the region, and could trigger some thunderstorms, and possibly even a severe cell or two. It will turn much cooler and dryer for Wednesday and Thursday, only to become more humid and unsettled as we head into this weekend.

Now for your weekly outdoor summer activity forecast. I will rate this week a 7 out of 10. Expect near record hot weather this afternoon, with a high of about 95 degrees in Boston. The record high is 96. There’s a small chance that the city ties this record this afternoon. In addisition, humidity levels will be rising, and will lead to a very stuffy, muggy evening.

Overnight will feature very warm conditions, with mid summer levels of humidity. Temperatures will not fall much lower than 68 degrees in Boston. I am not expecting any showers or thunderstorms.

Tuesday will continue to be hot and humid. Temperatures will quickly rise to near 91 in Boston, and possibly a bit higher south of the city.

However, the difference is that a fairly strong cold front will be slicing through the region from north to south during the day. This means there is the possibilty of a line of strong to possibly even severe thunderstorms during the afternoon. I would say the strongest chance is from the Mass. Pike on south.

After some early evening thunderstorms, watch for dropping levels of humidity levels and temperatures Tuesday night. When you wake up to go to work on Wednesday, it will feel quite refreshing!

Expect cooler and drier weather for the rest of the day, with northeast winds, and highs only near 70 along the coast, and mid to upper 70’s well inland.

Watch for similar weather on Thursday, with a mix of sun and clouds, and a cool wind off of the ocean. Highs will mainly be in the lower to mid 70’s.

For the period of Friday through Sunday, expect the weather to become a bit more unsettled at times. A warm front will be appraoaching New England on Friday.

This will result in more cloudiness at times, along with an increase in humidity levels. At some point, there will be showers moving through the region from later Friday into Saturday morning.

I’m not expecting a washout by any means this weekend. However, you will need to be aware that there is the chance of some afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. This will be true for both Saturday and Sunday.

It will be muggy and on the warm side, with highs in the 70’s on Saturday, and perhaps the mid to upper 80’s on Sunday.Again, be on the lookout for afternoon shower or storm. If you time it right, you still may be able to get some beach time in!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will be taking one final look at my summer forecast. I will also have a very early bird look into the the 4th of July forecast!

Not an official forecast, just trends. In the meantime, it’s a summer sizzler for now, let’s hope it doesn’t turn into a summer fizzler!

~Happy Father’s Day, to all!~

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Hang In There…I See A Change! 6/5/17

Hello, everyone! Well, it wasn’t a bad weekend after all! Certainly not beach weather,  but quite nice considering how lousy it’s been this spring.

Friday featured some afternoon showers which revealed some stunning rainbows across the region. Saturday was similar, with early sun yielding to scattered afternoon showers. Sunday started off with brilliant sun, only to see clouds increasing during the afternoon.

I was very happy to see the rain hold off until very late in the afternoon. This allowed the annual 24th Corrib 5K Road Race in West Roxbury to go off with generally pleasant weather.

As they say in life, timing is everything. Earlier this week, it was looking as if the rain was going to move in just as the race was to get going around noontime.

Several friends messaged me on Saturday asking me what my thoughts were for the weather on Sunday. After reviewing the latest computer data, I felt confident that the rain was going to hold off until after the event. But I have to admit, I thought it was going to be a lot closer than what it turned out to be!

You never know with these things. While computer models  generally do a good job,  the weather does what the weather wants to do. In so many cases, precipitation moves in quicker than what computer models advertise.

In this case, the weather gods were with the road race! High pressure held on just long enough to yield a beautiful early June morning.

As mentioned earlier, the clouds rolled in during the afternoon, changing the complexity of the day from early summer, back to early spring by days end.

I know it’s a cliche. You always here people saying, “hang in there, things will turn around!” But in this case, we’ll take any encouragement we can get!

I mean, forget about the beach, many folks are still lighting fires, and hearing the furnaces click on. And not only at night, even during the day, temperatures have been way below where they normally should be this time of year.

Looking back, the three month period of meterological spring consisting of March, April and May were slightly cooler than average. Had it not been for a warmer than normal April, the spring would of been downright frigid!

It was also a wet spring. Since March we have accumulated nearly double the precipitation that we normally receive. This has served two purposes. The beneficial rainfall has virtually eliminated the drought from southern New England. It has also replenished the water table in the ground.

This, in return, has led to a much greener landscape across much of the region! Everything looks more healthy this year, including the trees, grass, and most especially the flowers. I can’t recall a year with more vivid color flowers than this spring!

Most folks are fine with the rainy spring. We desperately needed the water! And most would be happy to trade for a wet spring, for a dry and warm summer.

But what about these darn cold temperatures? It seems as if the unsettled, cold pattern is continuing here in June. And this starts to infringe into summer territory. This is beginning to make some people nervous, to say the least!

It’s a feedback issue. Much like last year, when the dry weather led to hotter than average temperatures, the same holds true when it’s a wet pattern.

When it’s hot and dry, the sun’s solar energy gets reflected into the atmosphere. This heats up and dries out the soil, leading hotter and drier weather.

When rain approached this dome of dry air, it just evaporated. This happened repeatedly last summer in the Boston area. This led to the driest summer on record here in the city.

It takes a tremendous amount of energy to break this dry, warm cycle! After observing the weather in Boston for nearly 40 years now, this was the most persistantly dry and warm period I have ever witnessed.

Now that the pattern has changed, we must deal with the opposite results. Wetter patterns have their own feedback issues. When the ground is wet, it takes more energy for the sun to evaporate the moisture. Much of this energy gets absorbed into the ground, keeping it cooler where we live.

Many were asking me yesterday if this is going to be the pattern for the rest of the summer? This is a very good question. First, let me start out by saying that, technically, we are still in spring.

The official summer solstice does not arrive until June 20th. While summer patterns may show itself early some years, most wait until it’s officially summer.

As my summer forecast alluded to a couple weeks ago, it is going to get warmer this summer. I just believe it’s going to be a more transient summer than last year.

Meaning patterns are going to be more changeable, with periods of warm to hot weather, offset by cooler episodes, along with more chances of rainfall.

At this point, I’m still calling for a slightly warmer than average summer, along with slightly above average amount of rainfall.

In the shorter range, I am very happy to forecast a change in this awful weather pattern beginning this weekend. It appears as if the Greenland Block is going to relax, and allow a ridge of high pressure (warm & dry), to build up into New England! This means much warmer and drier weather is in our not too distant future!

However, this too will not last the rest of the month. This may be the beginning of the summer pattern I’m expecting for us here in New England this year. It may get hot, but cooler weather will not be too far away this summer, it should have no problem penetrating into the region from time to time.

Along with the start of meteorological summer, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season also began on June 1st. Though winter storms are my expertise, hurricanes are one of Mother Nature’s most powerful storms on earth. Someday I would like to study more about these fascinating cyclones.

For time purposes, I’m not going to get too technical about these erratic, unpredicable storms. There is a lot that goes into the research of hurricanes, and certainly a lot that can be said.

I believe the U.S. has not seen a major landfalling hurricane since 2005. This is remarkable! One of these years, somewhere is going to get a powerful, destructive storm. The problem is, is that it’s very difficult to forecast where!

For this summer, it appears as if we have a developing weak El Nino in the Pacific. This alone can inhibit storms from developing. It creates a hostile environment, with excessive wind shear in the upper atmosphere.

With that being said, it only takes one major storm to result in catastrophic damage. Back in 1992, with similar summer patterns, Hurricane Andrew tore through southern Florida, as a category 5 storm. This was the last category 5 storm to hit the U.S. It was also the only major storm for that season.

At this point, I do not see the parameters for an excessively active hurricane season. With a developing El Nino, this should keep the number of named storms close to average, or even slightly below.

For this season, I’m expecting between 9 and 14 named storms. Of which, 6 to 8 to be classified as hurricanes. Out of those storms, I’m thinking 1 to 3 turn into major storms. A major storm is a category 3 or higher. To reach this status, a hurricane must achieve sustained wind strength of 115 mph or greater.

Will a major storm hit the U.S. this year? It’s very difficult to say for sure. Warmer than normal ocean temperatures increases this risk near Florida, and up the coast towards New England.

As always, I will be monitoring all storm development this season, and will be sure to update everyone if one of these storms threatens New England!

For obvious reasons, I am going to delay the beach and boating report, once again. Needless to say, it’s not looking good for the next few days. However, we may have several beach & boating days starting this Sunday into the first few days of next week!

Now for your weekly outdoor activity forecast. I will this week a 5 out of 10. It seems as if we’ve had several weeks of rainy Monday’s now in a row!

Expect damp and cloudy weather for the rest of today. Later today and tonight, another surge of rain will arrive. It will be chilly today, for June anyway, with highs only in the upper 50’s.

Watch for a possible record low high temperature tomorrow. With a storm to our south, winds will blow from the east and northeast all day. Very similar to a winter type storm.

This, along with periods of rain and drizzle, will make for a disgusting kind of day, especially for June standards. Temperatures may not make it above 52 degrees around Boston, and only upper 40’s in Worcester. If this holds true, it will be the coldest June 6th day in Boston since 1926. Yikes!!

More rain is expected for tomorrow night into Wednesday morning. It will continue to be on the cold and damp side, with lows in the upper 40’s. When the rain ends on Wednesday, temperatures may respond to brightening skies during the afternoon, where highs may make it back into the lower 60’s.

For the period of Thursday through Saturday, expect improving weather. Though not perfect, look for somewhat warmer weather, with highs in the upper 60’s to lower 70’s. I’m not expecting any washouts, but there still is the risk of some afternoon scattered showers each day.

On Sunday, I’m expecting even warmer weather to start moving in. Afternoon highs may reach the lower 80’s in many places. A pesky seabreeze may keep it cooler along the beaches.

As mentioned above, we may be looking at some genuine hot weather moving come the beginning part of next week, with highs near 90, with drier conditions!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I may ellaborate a bit more on the hurricane forecast. I will also be introducing my beach and boating outlook.

I  will also let you know how long the warm weather is going to stick around for. In the meantime, get ready to fire up the heat tomorrow, then go to the beach just a week later!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

 

 

 

Memorial Day 2017: Chance Of Flurries…5/29/17

Hello! I hope everyone is enjoying their Memorial Day holiday weekend! While we’re enjoying our day off, remember the people who made the ultimate sacrafice to bring us the freedom we have today.

No, there will be no snow flurries today. But give me a break! I’m up visiting my sister and brother in law up in the seacoast region of New Hampshire today…and it’s downright freezing out!

Normally this time of year, we are sitting out on the porch in the morning, drinking coffee, enjoying all the different species of birds flying around!

This is not the case today! As of this writing, the temperature stands at 48 degrees, with a real feel of 43 degrees when the wind blows. Ridiculous! This is more typical of the Veterans’ Day holiday in November, rather than here on Memorial Day at the end of May!

No doubt, the seasonal shift we’ve been experiencing over the past several years is alive and strong! Just chatting with my sister Pam and brother in law Michael this morning, we were reminiscing about the weather on Christmas 2015, when temperatures were 70 degrees here in New Hampshire, with clear blue skies!

It’s difficult to say exactly what the reason for the delay in the seasons over the past couple years is all about. My theory is that it has a lot to do with the ocean temperatures. For the past several years, ocean temperatures have been excessively warmer than average globally.

This is especially true in the Pacific, which takes up a good amount of real estate. Because the ocean has been so warm, it releases a teremendous amount of warm air into the atmosphere.

This, in conjunction with the super El Nino we experienced two years ago, has helped to keep our patterns warmer than normal here in New England.

Now that El Nino has diminished, climatologists are now beginning to see signs that the oceans are cooling off. Nevertheless, latent heating and cooling are natural seasonal events that has helped delay our seasons.

In the fall, warmer than normal ocean temperatures off the New England coast keeps eastern New England warmer deeper into the season than areas across the interior. The reverse occurs this time of the year, when colder ocean temperatures warms up slower than the land.

With warm air rising off the land, the cool air rushes in from the ocean, resulting in chilly, damp weather here in eastern New England. This process typically straightens itself out by later in June, and sometimes not until July around here!

This fall, I’m expecting ocean temperatures to not be as warm as in years past. Therefore, I’m expecting a cooler fall this year, with an earlier onset to winter.

Just how unusual is this weather right now? The short answer to this question is, quite unusual! However, we must place things in perspective. It’s not any more or any less unusual than the blow torch Christmas we experienced two years ago. It’s just Mother Nature’s way of balancing things out.

This is no consolation to folks who expect it warm for Memorial Day! Believe me, I feel your pain! I was equally disappointed in the 70 degree weather on Christmas Day a couple years ago!

Just as summer took away some of winters real estate a couple years ago, it seems as if winter is now returning the favor. And despite a three day heat wave earlier this month, this will go down as a cooler than average May for the first time since 2008!

Speaking of May, the forecast for the month could not have worked out any better! The call was for a cooler than normal month, with above average precipitation.

Will this trend continue for the upcoming summer? According to my forecast made just last week, I’m anticipating a warmer than normal summer, with near to above average rainfall.

I’m not changing the forecast so soon. However, if I were to trend one way, I would lean towards cooler than what I forecasted. Just in case, I will have one more update to my summer forecast around the time of the solstice.

As I mentioned above, we must keep things in perspective. Yes, it’s cold out today, but we also must remind ourselves that it’s still only May. I would not throw in the towel on the whole summer just yet. The patterns have been slow to evolve over the past several years, and this year will be no exception.

This is why giving a summer forecast this time of year is a tricky proposition. We really don’t know what the summer will bring until the patterns establish themselves. This typically occurs around the end of June, or even in July some years!

So what can we expect this June to be like around here? I like to base my long range forecasts using trends. From what I can see looking at the latest computer models, I’m seeing a very cool and somewhat wet pattern over New England region, for at least the first two weeks of the month.

Thereafter, there are some indications that the pattern will shift, allowing a surge of warmer weather to encompass the region for a time. Will this be similar to the May heat wave, only to have the temperatures plummett again after?

This is difficult to say. However, there is a good chance that the second half of June will turn out much warmer than the first half. Therefore, I’m going to go with a slightly warmer than average month, with more than normal amounts of precipitation.

I am anticipating brief bursts of hot weather this summer, punctuated by cooler periods. This will be in stark conmtrast to last summers stable warm, dry weather patterns.

Due to the continued cooler and wetter than normal weather, I’m going to delay my beach and boating forecast for the next couple weeks.

As far as the camping and hiking forecast goes, I’m expecting another week of less than stellar weather for outdoor activities. Not a complete washout, but you will be dodging raindrops from time to time. Also expect cooler than average weather, with temperatures below normal through the week.

Now for your weekly outdoor spring activity forecast. I will rate this week a 4 out of 10. Expect cold weather for the rest of your Memorial Day holiday. Areas of light showers and drizzle will be the theme across the Boston area points north up into the New Hampshire seacoast region.

As a low pressure develops south of New England a complete washout is expected across the Cape, along with gusty cold wind. It will be somewhat of a nor’easter down there. Yuck!

I’m sure just what you dreamed of when you made plans for Memorial Day holiday back in February. Expect temperatures to be only in the upper 40’s and lower 50’s across the region. Brrrrrr!!!!

Damp and cool weather will continue tonight. Watch for areas of fog and drizzle if you’re heading home from being away. Low temperatures will generally be in the 40’s.

Tuesday will be warmer, with a damp start. If we’re lucky, skies may try to brighten later on in the day. I’m not expecting much rain, and temperatures should warm up into the 60’s. Low clouds may form again Tuesday night, with lows in the 50’s.

A front approaching Wednesday may bring a renewed chance of showers during the day. If we get any sun, there’s even a chance some areas see a thunderstorm. It will be a bit warmer still, with highs mainly in the lower 70’s.

Thursday should be a nice day for the first day of June! It should be mainly sunny and seasonable, with highs in the mid 70’s.

Another front will be approaching the region on Friday. Timing is an issue here, but there will be a band of showers and thunderstorms traversing the region later in the day. High temperatures will be in the lower 70’s.

Right now, the weekend looks iffy. At this point, Saturday looks like to be the better of the two weekend days. I wouldn’t go far to say it will be a beach day, but a pleasant early June day for sure. Highs should be in the lower 70’s.

Another system may approach on Sunday. At the very least, clouds may be on the increase, and depending on timing, rain could develop sometime during the afternoon. It will turn cooler again, with highs only in the 60’s.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will be discussing about the upcoming hurricane season, and what role this may play in our weather patterns here in New England.

I will also be monitoring our evolving summer pattern, and update everyone as to when we might expect some warm weather around here! In the meantime, no flurries today, but it sure feels like it could snow!

~Enjoy the rest of your day!~

Thanks for reading!

Pete

 

 

 

 

Summer 2017: Warm…But Wet! 5/22/17

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed the weekend! After a very unusual May heat wave, temperatures cooled back to seasonable levels this past weekend. In fact, some said it even felt a bit chilly Saturday night!

I was very pleased that showers and thunderstorms stayed away from the region for proms and graduations this past weekend! Although there was a strong thunderstorm late Friday evening, it didn’t interfere with any outdoor activities.

I had high confidence of a day or two of hot weather coming. What I was very surprised at, was that a full fledged heat wave engulfed the region. It started on Wednesday, with  temperatures certainly becoming much hotter than anticipated, when highs reached 92 degrees!

Thursday was supposed to be the hot day, and boy was it ever! Temperatures soared to a record high of 95 degrees in Boston! Some places approached the hottest temperatures ever recorded in May!

The heat lingered on Friday, with Boston reaching 90 degrees once again! With three consecutive days reaching 90, this was an official heat wave!

Friends and family were asking me if this was unusual. The short answer to this question is, yes! On average, we typically see only one day of 90 degree heat in May.

However, an official heat wave during May is extremely rare! Since 1972, this was only the third heat wave ever recorded in Boston. Even more impressive, this was also the second earliest heat wave ever recorded in the city!

If you havn’t noticed, the pattern has been extreme! Just a few days earlier, many areas of northern New England had snow falling on Mother’s Day! In fact, Mt. Washington got clobbered, with a whopping 33″ of snow! Many other areas in Vermont and New Hampshire also received snow that day.

I like to do research, and look at other years in the past, that closely compares to this year. This is known as analog research. The year that most closely resembled this year, was May, 1977!

In that year, we also had a memorable Mother’s Day snowstorm. Much like this year, we also had a burst of extremely hot temperatures in the mid 90’s shortly after that storm!

With the early season heat wave, you may think a very hot summer is coming. It’s only natural to think this. It’s similar to if we got a a snowstorm in November. Many would think that a brutal winter was ahead. However, this is not always the case!

Unlike last year, the patterns this year are more volatile, and will feature more changeable conditions. Last year, I was very confident in a hotter than average summer. The parameters were pointing towards heat! And indeed the heat came.

In an average summer, Boston averages about 14 days of 90 degree weather. Last year, we managed to rack up 22 days! This was despite a cool start to the season.

As it has been the past couple summers, the heat arrived later in July and especially in August. We’ve even had unusually hot weather lingering into September the past couple years!

In summer 2015, we had a building record El Nino. This flooded the country with unusually warm weather beginning in late July, and extended all the way until the end of the year!

Last summer, we had a strengthening La Nina. Although the forces are different, the end result was a much warmer than normal late summer and fall season. Although not as warm as the year before.

This summer, we have neutral conditions in the Pacific, with tendancy leaning towards weak El Nino. These type of summers bring us highly variable conditions.

I am expexting our hottest weather this summer to be in June and July, with a noticeable cool down as we head into August and September.

Long range computer models are hinting at a cooler than normal outlook, as well as above average rainfall in the middle of the country this summer.

With a trough (cool & rainy), set up in the middle of the country, this leaves the east coast susceptible to a ridge of high pressure (warm & dry). However, signals are weak over New England. Meaning it could go either way here.

With ocean temperatures continuing to be warmer than normal off the east coast, I’m going to average the two extremes together. Therefore, I’m expecting a warm summer this year, just not as hot as last year. I’m also expecting more rain this summer! I’m expecting is brief bursts of hot weather, puncuated by cooler air masses.

With the clash of air masses, I’m expecting many more showers and thunderstorms than last summer. This also means a much greener summer around here than last year! This should make gardners and farmers happy!

It’s difficult to say when the inclement weather will occur. Just be prepared to plan accordingly this summer. It will not be as stable as last summer’s tranquil patterns. Please check the weekly forecast to make plans for outdoor activities!

I do not want to discourage anyone! We will have stretches of beautiful summer weather! Remember when I said it’s all about timing! If the rainy weather occurs during the weekdays, and the weekends are nice, this will make many happy!

So just how hot can we expect it to be? I like to base how hot our summer is, by how many 90 degree days we receive. Amazingly, we already had 3 of them…and the summer solstice is still nearly a month away!

After reviewing as much data as I could, I’m expecting a slightly warmer than normal summer this year in Boston. But somewhat cooler than last year.

This means, you can expect between 14 and 17 days that feature 90 degree + temperatures this year. We’ve already had three of them! Past couple years, summer has gotten off to a slow start. I’m expecting the bulk of the hot weather to occur in June and July, and cool off in August this year.

What could go wrong? Unlike previous years, I’m concerned this could tilt towards a cooler summer than presently forecasted. I would say there’s a 60% chance of this happening.

The atmosphere seems to be fighting between warm and cool right now. After nearly two years of above average temperatures and dry weather in Boston, the pattern seems to be slowly evolving to a cooler one.

The change began in March, but has been fluctuating since. I’m still expecting a large scale pattern change to cooler and stormier weather. But this should hold off until autumn, as I see it now. Until then, we should continue with surges of heat, puncuated by cooler periods.

With that being said, there’s also a 40% chance that the summer could be a bit hotter than expected. It’s really difficult to tell until the summer pattern establishes itself. I may have a quick update to this summer forecast around the time of the summer solstice.

Now for your hiking and camping forecast. Expect unsettled weather, with areas of rain later tonight and early tomorrow. Also Thursday night into Friday, then again on Sunday possibly into early Monday.

Not ideal, but there will be some dry weather in between. It will also be much cooler than last week. Plan your trips accordingly.

Now for your regional outdoor activity forecast. I will rate this week a 4 out of 10. Overlall, it will be unsettled, but not entirely a washout.

Expect cloudy weather for the rest of today. A bit later, showers and areas of rain will begin to develop. It will be on the cool side, with highs in mid to upper 50’s.

Look for more wet weather tonight into early tomorrow morning. It will be cool and damp, with lows near 50. Later tomorrow, we may see some bightening of the skies, with highs near 70 inland, but only around 60 along the coast.

Another wave of low pressure will pass south of the region tomorrow night. If this come close enough, it may spread rain back into at least the south coast, and possibly up to Boston.

This should clear out early Wednesday. If things go according to plan, the sun may come out, and it may turn out to be quite a nice afternoon. It will be on the cool side, with highs mainly in the 60’s.

Thursday may start dry, but clouds will be on the increase during the day. With onshore winds, it will be on the cool side, with highs only in the upper 50’s.

Yet another storm will be approaching Thursday night into Friday. This looks more like a winter type scenerio than spring. A low pressure system will be developing south of New England, spreading rainy and damp weather through much of Friday.

It will be on the cold side, with highs only in the 50’s. If we’re lucky, the rain may stop in time for proms Friday evening. Very iffy about that, at this point. Sorry, Olivia! Have fun just the same!

At this point, the holiday weekend looks shaky at best. Saturday may start damp, only to brighten up in the afternoon. Another storm may approach on Sunday, bringing more showers. This storm may linger into early Monday. Temperatures look cool, with highs mainly in the 60’s.

Whether it dries out or not in time for Memorial Day is still questionable. I don’t believe there will be much beach weather regardless this weekend. If it’s not raining, it will be just too chilly to be on the beach. I hope I’m wrong about that!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will hopefully have a much brighter Memorial Day forecast for everyone! I will be reviewing the month of May, and have a preview for June.

I will also begin my weekly beach and boating forecast! In the meantime, summer is coming this year, but keep the sweaters close by just in case!

Thanks for reading,

Pete

 

 

 

Beach, Thursday? 5/16/17

Hello! Happy Mother’s Day! I hope everyone got to spend some time with mom yesterday.  Also keep those in mind who are less fortunate. There are many whose mom’s have passed, or are estranged from their families. While many celebrate, it can be a difficult time for others.

How about that weather? Not to give myself a pat on the back, but this storm was well forecasted from last Monday. However, it was nothing to celebrate over. Heavy wet snow plastered Mother’s Day flowers in many elevated areas of northern New England yesterday. Mt. Washingtn racked up a whopping 22″ of snow!

Meanwhile, a soaking mist and drizzle kept it very damp here in southern New England. And it wasn’t just the rain. We had a fire going at my brother in laws house all day yesterday! Temperatures never made it out of the 40’s, with a stiff northeast wind. Had a feel of Thanksgiving!

And it could of been worse. The storm did not intensify as quickly as computer models were showing. Had it gotten its act together sooner, that wet snow could of been more prevelant in the hills closer to Boston!

All in all, the weather left a lot to be desired for. In fact, they are calling it the worst Mother’s Day weather since 2008…that’s nearly 10 years ago.

Many of my family members are fed up with this weather. Nor’easters, back door cold fronts, sleet, wet snow, frosts, they’ve had enough! And I’m sure I speaking for the majority of folks here in New England, too!

Each time we meet, I have to give them a refresher course in how the weather works. It seems these days most people have very short memories, when it comes to the weather.

Contrary to what you may feel, it’s still very early in the season. We are still nearly 5 weeks away for the the summer solstice. So we officially still have about a third of spring to go.

I know, it was in the mid 70’s in February, and mid to upper 80’s on Easter. However, these bursts of heat simply can’t sustain itself so early in the season here in New England.

Ocean temperatures take longer to heat up in than the land in the spring. Half of eastern New England sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean. As warm air rises over the land, cool air masses can easily rush in off the ocean along the coastal plain. This keeps us much cooler than areas to our southwest.

In addition, we’ve enjoyed nearly 2 full years of above average temperatures and below average precipitation here in Boston. This included possibly one of the best summers you’ll ever experience around here last year.

Last summer was the driest on record here in Boston. This contributed to one of the worst droughts we’ve experienced in Boston since the 1960’s.

In addition, we managed to compile 22 days of 90 + degree heat. This is some 8 more than normal. I don’t think many will remember it for the excessive heat, but just consistantly very warm days.

Like previous years, the majority of this heat came in later July, August and even into September. They called last summer the “endless summer” as the warmer and drier than normal weather extended deep into November.

So what do I mean when I say many folks don’t understand how the weather works? This is a bit of a complicated statement. Many people just open up the shade to see what the weather is doing that day. And that’s how they tell what the weather is going to be for that day.

In many respects, I do the same thing. However, I also study the weather, and remember similar patterns which occurred over the years.

For instance, WBZ meteorologist Eric Fisher made an analogy to this years Mother’s Day, and the one back in 1977. In that year, we actually had a similar storm off our coast, which produced heavy wet snow, even here in Boston! Later that month, temperatures soared inot the 90’s in Boston! Guess what the temperatures are going to do this Thursday?

Does this mean every analog year, is the exact same, with similar results? No, but you can definitely see how Mother Nature repeats cycles, and similar patterns.

As  I mentioned earlier, we also go through cycles in patterns. After two years of consistantly above normal temperatures and below average precipitation, I believe the pattern has shifted. For so many months, the pattern was as predictable as the sun rising each day. It was just locked in, month after month.

However, starting this past March, it appears there has been a shift in this stable pattern. Although April rebounded above average again, I believe the patterns are going to be more volatile heading forward into this summer and next fall.

For one reason or another, the stable warm and dry patterns have broken down. It’s hard to say the exact reason why, other than that it’s just Mother Nature beginning to balance the extremes out. Does this mean 2 years of colder than normal weather, and above average precipitation. I don’t think so, but it has happened before.

With the teleconnections the way they’re at globally, I can see a volatile pattern setting up, with periods of hot & dry weather, puncuated by cooler and wetter times. This may be the theme moving forward into this summer.

Speaking about this summer, my official summer forecast will be officially published just one week from today! Wow, does time go by quickly! I’m expecting a much different summer this year around here. This does not mean it’s going to be a cold & rainy summer!

However, because it was so dry last summer. I’m afraid any rainy periods will make some folks feel as if it were rainier than normal. Everything is relative, and timing is very important.

If it rained on the weekends, and were sunny during the weekdays, many would be disappointed. If it were vice versa, more would be pleased, while other still disappointed. Moral of the story, you can’t make everyone happy! And Mother Nature does not play favorites!

Now for your camping and hiking forecast. This will turn out to be a much better week for outdoor activities. Prepare for summer weather on Thursday, a slight cool down thereafter, then warming up again later in the weekend. Little if any rain to be worried about this week. Maybe a few showers in the hills on Friday.

Now for your weekly outdoor spring activity forecast. I will rate this week a solid 8 out of 10. Expect blustery and cool weather tonight, under clearing skies. Low temperatures will mainly be in the 40’s.

Tomorrow will turn out to be a beautiful day! Look for plenty of sunshine, and warmer temperatures. Afternoon highs will be nearly perfect, at around 76 degrees.

Tuesday night will feature clear skies and mild temperatures, with lows mainly in the 40’s and 50’s.

Watch for temperatures to be about 10 degrees warmer on Wednesday, with mainly sunny skies. This means to expect temperatures in the mid 80’s or so.

Anyone up for a trip to the beach on Thursday? Expect mid summer conditions, with hazy, hot and humid weather! Temperatures should soar into the lower 90’s. The record high temperature is 91 degrees. I believe we have a shot at a record high temperature of 93 degrees. Wow!

A weak cool front will traverse the region early Friday. This front looks to be mainly dry, but temperatures should be about 15 degrees cooler than Thursday, with a breezy north wind, and highs in the mid 70’s.

The cooler weather looks to continue on Saturday, with highs mainly in the 60’s to very low 70’s, under dry conditions.

There may be a few more clouds around on Sunday, but I’m expecting mainly dry weather overall, and highs back into the mid 70’s.

Well that’s about it for now! Sorry for the late post, today! In next week’s blog, I will be focusing my attention on my complete summer forecast! I will also have your Memorial Day weekend forecast! In the meantime, see everyone at the beach!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

 

 

 

It Could Be Worse…Remember This? 5/8/17

Hello! I hope everyone had a great, weekend! It was yet another split decision in the weather department around here. While Friday and Saturday were pretty much washouts, Sunday turned out to be a decent day, with a mixture of sun and clouds, with temperatures in the mid 60’s.

It wasn’t all bad. After morning rain on Saturday, there were some sunny breaks during the afternoon. This allowed temperatures to warm up, making it feel more like spring. Some areas to the southwest of Boston really had quite a spectacular day.

I don’t want to make it sound better than what it was, however. There were many outdoor activities planned for Saturday morning around the region, that had to be either cancelled, or delayed.

Ahhh, spring in New England! Just when you thought we were in the clear, the dreaded Greenland Block shows up! Yes, this typically means cooler and unsettled weather for us here in New England. But, as some of my astute readers pointed out last week, it’s better to get this pattern here in May, than in the middle of July!

Many friends and family members have been asking me when I think warmer weather will arrive. I wish I had a precise date when this may occur. However, Mother Nature is on a timetable, and only she knows the true answer!

Many of us, including myself, have a tendency to rush the seasons. I, for one, always start looking for cold and snowy weather in November.

Due to latent heating and cooling, November is milder than one would think here in coastal New England, delaying severe cold and snow until December, sometimes even January.

It takes longer for the oceans to cool off in the fall, keeping the coast milder deeper into the winter.  This is part of the seasonal shift we have seen as of late. Fall extends deeper into winter, and winter extends into spring.

When will real summer show up?  It’s still very early in the season to expect sustained summer temperatures. Keep in mind, the summer solstice is still a good 6 weeks away!

Sometimes, Mother Nature keeps us waiting right up until the solstice, to reveal true summery weather. Each season is different from one year to the next. Sometimes, we have “off” years. Meaning summer is quite unsettled and cooler than normal.

The last summer I can remember like that was in 2009. I remember that summer featured a very active volcano in Alaska. This could of contributed to aerosols in the air, blocking out the suns radiation, resulting in weather that felt more like fall, than summer!

The same thing happens in winter. Some years, we have very mild winters with little snow to speak of. The reasons for this are more complex. Factors such as El Nino and La Nina play an important role. But other conditions such as solar radiation, snow cover, and jet stream patterns also have significant impacts on our winter patterns.

What about this summer? Are we finally going to break out of this very wet and at times chilly pattern? I believe we are. However, I also believe that the patterns this summer are going to be much more volatile than the stable, dry weather patterns of last summer.

This means we can expect a wetter summer, than last year. As I have mentioned before, that’s not saying much! Boston experienced it’s driest summer on record last summer!

I also believe it’s going to be cooler. Boston reached or eclipsed 90 degrees 22 times last summer! I don’t have that number nailed down just yet! Tune in to the official summer forecast just 2 weeks from today for a detailed outlook!

What about the rest of May? Folks are getting anxious to get some nice weather around here!  I fully understand. After a warmer than normal April, May seems to have taken a step backwards.

This is pretty typical, especially when a Greenland Block develops. The Greenland Block can develop this time of the year, beacause of a changing jet stream. In winter, the jet stream is stronger, and faster.

In spring, the jet weakens, becomes more sluggish. This allows high pressure to develop over Greenland, and can create stalled, blocking patterns to linger for days across the northeast.

In some cases, we are on the good side of the block, with fair and dry weather. In this case, the storm that passed by on Friday and Saturday is still sitting and spinning directly over New England.

Think of it like a big ferris wheel spinning counter clockwise up in the sky. This is what they call an upper level low, not one on the surface. Upper level lows can create unsettled weather in their own right.

Over the next couple days, you will notice the sunniest weather will be first thing in the morning. As the sun heats the ground, warm air will rise and cool & condense as it collides with the cold air aloft.

Threatening dark clouds will form, along with the possiblity of showers and even small hail during the afternoon. In higher elevations, these showers may fall as snow!

I’m expecting this block to linger for about another 10 days. This does not mean it’s going to be rainy and cold all the time. I am expecting the block to relax at times, to allow for some fair weather.

This may happen later this week, for example. Later in the weekend, a coastal low pressure system may threaten eastern New England with rain and wind on Sunday.

This storm may linger into the first part of next week as well. Thereafter, the block may weaken, and begin to lift out, so by May 20th or so, we may be enjoying some real summertime weather!

In the “it could be worse” department, we go back in time 40 years ago this week. A very unusual late season snowstorm struck much of Massachusetts, except southeastern Ma. and Cape Cod. Patterns were similar to what we have this week. The difference was that the upper level low “captured” a surface low south of New England.

This created a slow moving, strong storm east of Boston. As heavy precipitation fell, it pulled the cold air down to the surface. The result? Nearly 2 feet of heavy wet snow fell on foliated trees across higher elevations of Massachusetts, resulting in massive power outages, and devastating tree damage.

Even Worcester, Ma. received 1 foot of wet snow. Snow also fell in lower elevations, right to the Massachusetts coast. While only a half inch fell at Logan Airport, much more snow fell across the remainder of the city, and surrounding suburbs.

I recall a neighbor using a broom to hit the heavy wet snow off the leafed trees in his yard. While 2 or 3″ fell in my area, up to 7 to 10″ fell just to the north, west and even southwest of Rt 128. It was the latest snowfall on record for Boston to this day!

Now for your camping and hiking forecast. Expect unsettled and fairly cold conditions for this time of the year, this week in much of New England, especially up north. If you are camping in the mountains, you may wake up to a dusting of snow on some mornings!

Elsewhere, expect building afternoon clouds with a chance of afternoon showers, especially tomorrow and Wednesday. With the cold air aloft, I can’t rule out some pea size hail. The weather may improve later in the week, only to deteriorate with the threat of rain again on Sunday.

Now for your weekly spring outdoor activity forecast. I will rate this week a 4 out of 10. With the upper level storm stalled over New England, the pattern will be fairly predictable through at least Thursday.

Therefore, expect similar weather each day.  For the period from today through Thursday, expect some sun in the mornings, only to give way to building afternoon clouds, along with the chance of afternoon and evening showers.

I am not expecting any washouts here, just nuiscance scattered showers. Worse case scenerio is a quick downpour with some small hail…but that too should pass. On the bright side, be on the lookout for late afternoon rainbows towards the east!

It will be on the chilly side, with highs only in the lower to mid 50’s during the day, and 30’s and 40’s at night, with areas of frost across the interior.

As we move towards Friday and Saturday, the weather may improve somewhat, with more sunshine, and temperatures warming up into the 60’s.

Questions and concerns arise as we head into Mother’s Day. Everyone, including myself would love a beautiful, warm, sunny day.

However, latest computer models are developing a coastal storm along the mid-atlantic region. This storm is progged to move northeast, passing south and east of New England, and turning it into a late season nor’easter.

Thankfully, it doeas not appear cold enough for snow, but it could be a windswept cold rain. YUCK! It’s still 6 days out, and there still a chance that this storm misses. At this point, I would say 70% chance of a washout, 30% chance of a miss. I hope I’m wrong!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will let everyone know just when to expect some summer weather to finally break through! I will also have a few more thoughts leading up to my summer forecast just two weeks from today! In the meantime, look for those rainbows! You can’t see them looking down!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

~Happy Mother’s Day!~

 

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