Brief Heat…Warm…Rinse & Repeat! 7/16/18

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! Overall, it was  another summery weekend across the region. Maybe not as hot as earlier in the week, but still warm enough to head to the beach or enjoy any other outdoor summer activities! Saturday was warm, with intervals of sun and clouds. A sea breeze in the afternoon kept coastal areas temperatures cooler than inland locations. Sunday was warmer, with some inland communities reaching 90 or a bit better. Once again, the beaches were quite comfortable with afternoon sea breezes. Why else would we go to the beach? To seek relief from the heat, of course!

There were some thunderstorms around, but the majority of the region remained dry. A quick glance around the Boston area yesterday revealed the telling signs of yet another dry summer, as lawns are beginning to dry out.

This is the current state across the Boston area. But is it going to remain like this for the remainder of the summer? Are we on a downward spiral of burned out lawns, water restrictions and brown foliage again this fall? Has the summer pattern locked in until September? The short answer to all these questions is no!

We are halfway through meteorological summer, and I would say the first half of the summer has been quite spectacular! It’s featured a little bit of everything, up to this point. June had very low humidity levels, and many sunny warm days. July so far has been a summer for beach lovers, with sunny, hot & muggy weather, sandwiched in between some lovely days with warm temperatures and low dew points.

When I wrote my summer forecast, I spoke of July featuring the hottest weather for the entire summer. So far, this has worked out very well, in my opinion! July got off to one of the hottest starts on record across the region. So far, Boston has seen temperatures hit 90 degree + 5 times this July (8 overall). Depending on sea breezes this week, we may see another one or two. The summer forecast called for a minimum of 10 days of 90 degree heat, with a maximum of 14, if the heat persisted into August.

We are approaching 10, but the big question is will we go beyond? I foresee changes coming to the pattern heading into the last 10 days of this month, heading into August. The first 10 days of July saw many 90 degree days, but has since slowed down considerably, being thwarted by see breezes along the coast. Remember, the forecast was for a shorter summer than in years past, with a fast start in July, but an abrupt change in August. I can now see these changes appearing on computer models.

The heat ridge (warm & dry) that has dominated the eastern part of the country, is set to retrograde to the western part of the country, and western Canada. This will allow troughs of low pressure (cool & unsettled) to begin pushing into the Great lakes and Ohio Valley, eventually migrating their way towards New England, as we head towards August. The big question on many meteorologists and weather enthusiasts minds,  if this is a major pattern change heading into the late summer and fall, or just a temporary cool down, with more heat later?

It’s been my experience, with developing weak El Nino’s this time of year,  that this could be a major pattern change to cooler and wetter times for us here in New England. Last week, I spoke of the potential for extreme weather patterns showing up again, after a few year break. Weak El Nino’s are notorious for pattern flips in August, resulting in cooler and unsettled weather conditions. In fact, my research shows that these patterns can persist right into the following winter, resulting in heavier than normal snowfall, especially for coastal New England. Of course this is all speculation at this point, with many more details to follow!

Does this mean summer is over? Absolutely not! As I mentioned in my summer forecast, I felt that we could be done with the worst of the summer heat by late July. This means temperatures in the 90’s with dangerous heat index values like we experienced the first week of July. If my forecast holds true, New England could still be fortunate enough to be sandwiched in between two air masses fighting it out for real estate. Cooler air to our north , could mix with hot air to our south, resulting in a equilibrium of pleasant temperatures for New England. We may be done with the 90’s, but I would say the majority of people don’t mind 70’s and 80’s!

Unfortunately for beach goers, campers and hikers, this pattern can also produce more rainfall. This is good news for our lawns and gardens, and also for this years fall foliage season. If you recall last summer was so dry, the leaves just turned brown when fall arrived, resulting in a less than average fall foliage season. This does not mean no more beach days. I would just say it’s not going to be as consistent than it has been. You will have to pick your days more carefully!

We haven’t mentioned the hurricane season too much so far this year. This is great news for folks in the Caribbean region, who were ravaged by several storms last summer and fall. Last week, we had Hurricane Chris quickly develop into a category 2 storm off the Carolina coast. Lucky for us, jet stream winds steered this storm far enough away from New England with limited impacts. As the storm made its closest pass to our coast, it was able to generate some large surf, and dangerous rip currents. Seas have since calmed down off the New England coast.

WeatherBell Analytics meteorologist Joe Bastardi is calling for a less active season for the the Caribbean basin, but telling folks along the east coast to New England to watch out! He is comparing the ocean temperatures and upper level steering winds of this year, to the famed year of 1960! On September 12th and 13th, Hurricane Donna tracked along the New England coastline, bringing with it flooding rains, and heavy structural damage due to winds of over 100 mph. Unusually warm ocean temperatures just off our coast, along with favorable upper air patterns heading into the fall, make this year especially vulnerable for the east coast, including New England! Could Hurricane Chris been a warning shot for New England? I believe it very well could of been. I will be closely monitoring this situation very closely, as we move deeper into hurricane season.

Now for your weekly beach, boating, and camping forecast. Overall, this is going to be another great week to enjoy these activities! Expect the best beach days to be today, later Wednesday, then again Thursday through Saturday! Keep an eye to the sky if you’re doing any boating tomorrow, as there could be some heavy thunderstorms approaching the area, especially late in the day. If you’re out camping, be aware of the potential for strong to perhaps severe thunderstorms crossing interior New England later tomorrow. Seek shelter, and prepare before this type of weather approaches! These storms should weaken some as they move into the more stable marine environment across southeastern Mass. and the Cape tomorrow night. Later in the weekend, more thunderstorms could threaten the area, but don’t call off outdoor plans just yet.

Now for your weekly outdoor summer activity forecast. I will rate this week an 8 out 10. Look for hazy sun, hot and increasingly humid weather for much of New England this afternoon, with highs in the lower 90’s. If you seek relief from the heat, head to the beaches, where temperatures will be about 10 degrees cooler with a refreshing sea breeze. Logan Airport will see temperatures in the lower 80’s as well, but mid to upper 80’s will be common across the remainder of the city.

Expect warm and muggy weather to settle in across much of the region tonight, with lows only dropping to around 70 in the city, and lower 60’s across suburbia. Skies will remain hazy, due to the increase in humidity levels.

With a stronger southwest wind, I’m expecting hot temperatures right to east facing beaches tomorrow. With this wind trajectory, expect cooler temperatures along the south coast of New England, including much of Cape Cod. If we get enough sun, temperatures should soar up into the lower 90’s for a time, along with oppressive levels of humidity! As a cold front approaches from the north and west, watch for building cumulonimbus clouds during the afternoon. The best dynamics for severe storms is going to be located across the interior of New England tomorrow, especially areas north and west of I495, but could come as close as I95 as weakening but strong storms. At this point, a couple thunderstorms could cross the city of Boston during the evening, with drenching rains, but severe storms are not expected in Boston at this point. Storms should further weaken as they head towards the Cape, but even there expect some showers overnight.

After some early morning clouds, expect sunny and drier weather for the balance of your Wednesday. It will be noticeably drier, with temperatures remaining on the warm side in the lower 80’s. Wednesday evening should feature fine weather to take a walk along the beach, or go out for dinner. Expect dry conditions, with warm temperatures, only cooling off late at night.

Similar weather will follow suite for Thursday and then again Friday. The only difference is you may notice temperatures warming up a bit, along with an uptick in humidity levels. Otherwise, fantastic beach days! Saturday will see a return to hazy, hot and humid weather, with temperatures heading up to near 90 once again. Right now, I am taking the optimistic road for Sunday, calling for another very warm day. With more clouds than Saturday, temperatures may not get as hot, and there will be a chance of an afternoon thunderstorm. Currently, a washout is not expected. It could be a different story come next week!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will be looking deeper into the pattern change I’m expecting heading into August. I will also have your new beach, boating and camping forecast. In the meantime, you may feel like you’re in a washing machine with this forecast…what else would you expect from someone who sells appliances?

Thanks for reading!

Pete

 

 

 

Brief Heat…Then Nice! 7/9/18

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July holiday, and long weekend! The weather over this past weekend could not of been any better! A cold front pressed through the region on Friday, and with it swept out all the heat and humidity we suffered through last week! In its wake, much of New England enjoyed what I would call picture perfect summer weather! Not that we won’t have anymore nice weekends, but I would rate this past weekend quite possibly the best of the entire year! Whether you were doing some camping, boating, or just relaxing at the beach, the weather was perfect for all to enjoy!

The same could not be said for last week. Not that it was rainy or anything, it was just too darn hot for most folks! As the old saying goes here in New England, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” It was about as muggy as it gets around here. With dew point temperatures in record high territory, coupled with temperatures in the mid to upper 90’s, resulted in heat indices of near 110 degrees in some cases! Many communities, just 10 mile inland from the ocean, had a 7 day heat wave!

A slight onshore sea breeze at Logan Airport prevented the city from hitting 90 on Monday, and then again on Wednesday. Had the sea breeze not occurred, Boston would of had a similar stretch. As it turned out, the city had 5 out of 7 days at or surpassing 90, with Tuesday being the hottest day of the bunch, when the city soared to 98 degrees! Still very impressive, indeed!

No doubt it was hot. But due to the timing of the heat wave, it was even hotter than for the time of year. The fact that the heat wave arrived at the hottest time of the year, makes the heat that much more intense. Averages are at the highest this time of year. It’s the same with record cold arriving at the start of January, when averages are at their coldest. Below normal weather is very cold! If below normal temperatures occurred in July, the end result is still pleasantly warm weather, just due to the time of year!

It was so hot, that according to local record keeping, it was the hottest beginning to July on Record for many locations…including Boston! Which got me thinking, wasn’t it just this past January when we experienced the coldest start to the year on record? Yes! The extreme weather patterns are back! After taking a couple year break after the epic winter of 2014-15, it appears as if the wild swings in our weather patterns have returned!

No sooner than I was thinking this, WBZ  meteorologist Eric Fisher tweeted out how extreme the patterns have been since the start of the year. From record cold to start out January, to a complete reversal of record warm weather in February, then the heavy snows and cold in March, record cold and floods in April, back to warm and dry in May and June! Now record hot weather to start off July! What is the cause, and where are we headed??

It is fascinating. We may not think this as we live our day to day lives, but when we stop and look back, many in the field of meteorology and climate study are intrigued. Some may say it’s weather just being weather. This may be true. However, one must take notice when we’re smashing longtime records for both extremes every other year, as of late. With climate change ongoing, and seemingly only accelerating, we can expect more of these extreme weather patterns to continue, and perhaps get even worse, in the coming decades.

These extreme patterns are still not fully understood. What is the cause? Global warming? Global cooling? El Nino? La Nina? The warm oceans? The sun? These are topics being studied by scientists across the world, trying to determine how these underlying factors are related to one another. As you know, Mother Nature still holds the upper hand in climate research and forecasting. Advanced super computer models and mathematical calculations have greatly improved short term forecasting. But even with that, we only have to look to last winter to see a predicted snowstorm disappear on us the next morning!

My brother in law Michael, sends me a steady stream of short articles written about global warming and climate change. These are very educational short articles, and I’m very grateful he takes the time out to send these to me! With my time at a premium, it allows me to keep abreast of what’s going on in the science community, without needing to set aside 4 hours out of the day to read them. What makes this even better is that Michael has a very good understanding about the weather,  and the science that goes behind it. I can always count on a good natured discussion about climate change whenever we get together!

For the record, his thoughts are that the earth is warming rapidly due to man made induced activity. The excess burning of fossil fuels, coal, oil and gas, have resulted in high Carbon dioxide levels, essentially trapping these gasses in the earth’s atmosphere, not allowing warm air to escape back into space, warming the planet. With a warmer planet, the polar ice caps and glaciers are melting at alarming rates. One of the articles he sent me yesterday claims that computer models are actually underestimating the strength and rate at which it’s happening. They say it’s happening much quicker, possibly within our lifetime, and with much greater consequences than first thought. Hype or reality?

I have stated my beliefs about global warming before on my blog. I have said that I do believe in climate change. It has always happened in the past, and will continue into the future. Scientists understand this too by doing extensive research into the earth’s past climate. They accomplish this by ice core samples, tree ring studies, and very technical studies of the earth’s soil, and trapped gases. The thing that troubles me, is the rate at which changes are happening today. What took hundreds of years before, is happening in just a couple decades now.

I’m not ready to jump ship just yet, and flip flop in my thoughts. I’m simply stating that we need to have an open mind when discussing these issues. I still think we need more time to study what’s going on. The warming could still be a result of warm ocean cycles, which occur every 30 years. The Atlantic Ocean is ready to flip to a cold phase, which it hasn’t done in nearly 40 years! If this happens, the rate of warming could possibly slow the warming. However, if the oceans continue to keep warming the way they are doing, not only will global warming activists be correct, but life on earth will be much different as we know it today.

Are the weather patterns more extreme now than in the past? Studies here in New England say no way! They not only say it was hotter back then, but that we had even more severe storms, and more temperature extremes! This is why we need more time to study the data. One other thing to keep in mind is that statistical data can be skewed over years. For instance, the population has grown in a hundred years. This has lead to urban heat island effect, when warm air from the day is trapped in the city pavement and buildings, not allowing temperatures to cool off at night as it used to.

Also, official observation sites where temperatures and precipitation measurements are taken have changed over the course of time. For example, Boston’s site has changed several times. At one point, the site was in Boston Common, which is a couple miles away from it’s current site at Logan Airport. Even that has changed, as the official observation site is actually in Winthrop! This makes Boston’s statistics skewed within in its own city, as the weather is no doubt different from Winthrop to Boston Common, or even worse, West Roxbury, which is a good 12 miles away from Wintrop!

In the short term, I’m happy to report a great vacation week! Whether you’re at the beach, boating, or camping, you can expect fantastic weather! Temperatures will be warmer today and hotter tomorrow, but thereafter, you’re looking at warm, dry weather for the balance of the week. I see the only chance of rain from a thunderstorm later Tuesday, which would introduce a drier air mass. Come next weekend, we may start to heat to near 90  all over again!

Now for your weekly outdoor summer activity forecast. I am giving this week a 9 out of 10. As mentioned above, great vacation week! Expect sunny skies for the rest of today. With the strong July sun, temperatures should warm up to near 90 in many locations. The difference is the humidity levels will be in check. Watch for fair and warm weather overnight, with low temperatures falling into the 60’s in urban areas.

If you can, head to the beach on Tuesday! It’s going to be hot and humid tomorrow, with highs near 94 degrees. I don’t expect much of a sea breeze, so it’s going to be hot even at east facing beaches. The only spot with some relief will be at south coast of New England, where temperatures will be about 10 to 15 degrees cooler. As a cold front approaches during the afternoon, keep an eye to the sky, as a gusty thunderstorm could visit some communities.

Any showers or thunderstorms will be diminishing tomorrow night. Later at night, cooler and drier weather will filter into New England. Lows will be mainly in the 60’s, with lowering levels of humidity.

Expect warm and dry weather for the period of Wednesday through Friday, with highs in the 80’s inland, and 70’s along the coast with daily sea breezes. As we’re enjoying the beautiful weather, keep in mind there will be Hurricane Chris tracking about 300 miles to the southeast of Nantucket on Thursday. Yes, this storm was a bit of a surprise! Other than a few high clouds, the main effects of this storm will be felt at sea. There may be some high surf and rip currents, especially in beaches which face east or southeast of New England, such as the south side of Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Chatham and the National Seashore. As the storm moves north, all beaches along the New England coast are vulnerable to rip currents.

Thereafter, expect very warm to hot weather to return to New England this weekend. It would not surprise me if temperatures warmed back up to near 90 on Saturday, and into the 90’s on Sunday, along with higher levels of humidity! A scattered thunderstorm in the building heat can not be ruled out.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will be talking about what these extreme patterns could have in store for us here in New England in the coming months. I can promise you this, it will not be boring! I will also have a new vacation,  beach and boating forecast. In the meantime, if you love summer…it’s time to soak it in!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

 

 

Brief Relief! 7/2/18

Hello! Happy July 4th holiday week! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! It took a while, but this was the weekend everyone had been waiting so patiently for! Full blast summer, from Friday straight through Sunday. No rain, no clouds, no cold winds…just triple H weather, hazy, hot & humid! In fact, with the three days of 90 degree temperatures, Boston had its first official heat wave of the summer. It was definitely a beach goers dream come true! With such a long, drawn out winter, I did not hear too many people complaining about the heat.

Last weeks forecast is verifying quite well. The one slight adjustment I would of made, would of been to tick the temperatures down a bit along the coast. You may say Pete, are you insane? It was plenty hot enough even at the beaches! Yes, I would agree with you 100%. But would if I told you that the coast was the coolest locations in New England? After I made last weeks forecast, computer models began chopping the hot temperatures away from the coast, with some forecasters calling for 0 % chance of a heat wave in Boston!

The culprit was a weak pressure gradient due to a building high pressure heat ridge right over us. When this happens, winds tend to be light and variable. Hot air rises quickly over land. As this happens, cooler air off the ocean is heavier, more dense, and rushes into the area where the hot air vacated. Depending on how strong the sea breeze is, it can cool off the coast as much as 15 to 20 degrees in the spring, and 5 to 10 degrees in the summer.

While it makes it cold during spring, it’s natural air conditioning here in summer! Yesterday’s sea breeze was forecast by computer models to be much stronger than it actually was. It turned out to be very weak and feeble, kicking in very late in the day, after high temperatures were already reached. Rather than panicking and changing my forecast, I decided to leave it, and lean heavily on climatology.

Climatology says that we are entering the hottest period of the year. Basically from about July 1st, to August 15th, we experience the hottest weather of the year, here in Boston. If you don’t like the heat, you should just go into an igloo and hibernate until late August! We are in the same climate zone as January 2nd right now, except it’s July! At this time of the year, the earth is tilted closer to the sun’s radiation, therefore making heat waves, feel  even hotter than one would expect.  Because I believed the computer models were too cold with the sea breeze, I did not cancel the heat wave. I took a gamble hoping the hot weather would overcome the cooling effects of the sea breeze, and it worked!

I knew it was going to be hot when the temperatures shot up to 90 degrees in Boston by 10 am! This was one of the earliest 90 degree readings during a day that I can ever recall here in Boston! While temperatures held in the low 90’s the rest of the day along the coast, this was not the real story for the rest of the region. Most locations across the interior of New England experienced temperatures between 95 and 100 degrees yesterday, with dangerous excessive heat warnings in place! Many places had heat indices approaching 110 degrees! The heat index is a index that takes the actual temperature, combined with the dew point temperature, that gives a temperature on how hot it actually feels on your body. This is the equivalent of the wind chill in the winter! Heat indices were near record highs yesterday, will come down a bit today, then spike up again for the balance of the week through Friday.

With the three 90 degree days in  Boston,  we are now up to 4 for the season. I’m expecting another 3 perhaps even 4 this week. Although that pesky sea breeze will still be flipping and flopping along the immediate coast. As an example, the temperature hovered around 84 degrees right at Logan Airport last Friday most of the day, with a light onshore wind. Later in the day, the wind suddenly shifted offshore, and the hot air from just inland blasted right to the coast, resulting in a 8 degree temperature spike in some 25 minutes!

This led to a actual high temperature of 92 degrees that day. Expect more temperature swings along the immediate coast throughout the week. If you live more than 10 miles inland from the ocean, forget about it! You are locked in what will end up being a 8 day heat wave for many! If a light feeble sea breeze collapses this afternoon, even Boston could spike up to 90 at the last second. If that happens, we too could also share in a very impressive 8 day heat wave! Wow!

As mentioned above, July is statistically the hottest month of the year here in Boston, and much of the Northern Hemisphere for that matter. August can be equally as hot, and be much more muggy too. In a typical July, Boston averages about 5 days of 90 + degree weather. This can range as high as 10 some years, and as low as zero in rare instances. As I mentioned last week, I’m expecting July to be the hottest month of the summer this year. It can fluctuate. Some years August is hotter than July, and in some cases, even June can be hotter. This year, I’m expecting the bulk of the heat this summer to be centered around July. You can expect at least the average amount of 90 degree days, but I’m thinking it may be closer to 7 to 10 times this year! We’ve already had one yesterday, with another 3 or 4 this week!

July typically is the low point of storm activity here in Boston. Statistically, Boston has the least chance of a nor’easter in July, than any other month. However, there’s always the potential of thunderstorms, which could result in flooding rains some years. On rare occasions, Boston does get swiped by a tropical storm or even a hurricane. I remember a few years ago, Arthur  cancelled 4th of July festivities due to flooding rains. I am expecting near average amounts of rain this July, which is about 3 and half inches.

Now that we are in July, how did June turn out? After all the ups and downs, June actually finished almost exactly average! After a very chilly start, a strong finish in the temperature department brought June temperatures very close to the long term average, finishing just .1 degree below average. The month also started off very dry, but a couple soaking rainfalls towards the end of the the month brought values very close to the average. Although I got the number of 90 degree temperatures correct, the month did not finish above average, as I had envisioned.

Now for your weekly camping, beach and boating forecast. At first glance, you would think it’s going to be a cake walk this week. Overall, this is going to be a great week. However, the devil is in the details. Expect great outdoor weather for all the rest of today and tomorrow, with very low chances for rain. There is about a 20% chance of a very isolated shower or thunderstorm tomorrow. If you do happen to receive this shower, it will be brief and move out of the area before any 3rd of July festivities begin.

A weak front will be in the area on the 4th itself, with a 30% chance of a thunderstorm. Again, it will clear out for evening concert and firework activities. It’s going to continue to be hot and muggy from tomorrow through Friday, with highs in the 90’s, and lows in the 60’s and 70’s. Thursday is going to feature very hot and muggy weather, with highs in the 90’s! Watch out for Friday! A stronger cold front will be slicing through New England, bringing with it the chance of some severe thunderstorms! Cooler and drier weather will be on tap this weekend, but cooler is relative. It will still be plenty warm enough for the beach and any other outdoor activities.

Now for your weekly summer outdoor activity forecast. I will rate this week a 8 out of 10. Expect mainly sunny weather for the balance of today. A cooling sea breeze will keep areas along the coast only near 80 degrees today. However, there is a chance that the sea breeze diminishes later in the afternoon, which could spike temperatures to near 90 in Boston towards evening. I will be monitoring this possibility. Otherwise, expect hot and humid weather to continue if you live more than 10 miles inland from the coast, with highs in the mid 90s’ along with high levels of humidity.

Tonight will feature warm and stuffy weather, with fair skies and lows in the 60’s and low 70’s.

More of a offshore wind should mean hot weather could go right to the coast tomorrow, including Boston. In fact, triple H weather can be expected for the balance of the week through Friday., with highs between 90 and 95 degrees, and lows in the 60’s and 70’s. Thursday could be the hottest day since yesterday, with highs in the mid 90’s, with heat indices of near 100 degrees.

For those who celebrate on the 3rd, expect mainly dry and very warm temperatures. As mentioned above, a isolated shower or thunderstorm during the afternoon, should not interfere with evening festivities!

As for the fourth of July itself, expect a hot and humid day, with highs between 90 and 95. A weak front could be trigger mechanism and give enough lift in the atmosphere to spark off a afternoon thunderstorm. Similar to the 3rd, this activity will diminish during the evening, leading to a fine evening for all fireworks and concert activities. Happy 4th!

Thereafter, I’m expecting things to really cook on Thursday, with highs in the mid 90’s. A strong cold front will be approaching from the north on Friday. With all the hot air in place, there is a good chance of a severe line of thunderstorms developing during the afternoon. This line could feature straight line winds, vivid lightning, and hail. I will monitor this day very closely in case any tornado activity is possible. This will signal the end of this particular heat wave.

After the front pushes offshore early Saturday morning, a new air mass will be left in its wake. Expect warm and dry this weather this weekend, fine conditions for beach and boating activities. Watch for high temperatures in the 80’s and lows in the 60’s. Just about seasonal for early July.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will be looking to see if we have any more heat waves in our future this July. I will also have a new vacation forecast, which will contain a new beach and boating outlook. In the meantime, lots to keep track this week! Keep an eye out for that wind direction! West is hot, east is cool! Also, watch for those beautiful fireworks this week, both man made and from Mother Nature!

~Happy 4th of July, to all!~

Thanks for reading!

Pete

 

 

 

 

 

TORCH! 6/25/18

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! It was a very disappointing weekend, weather wise. Yes, there were a few sunny breaks yesterday, but this only led to late afternoon showers and thunderstorms…and it became very muggy too. Saturday looked and felt like early April. With a solid overcast all day, and a wind blowing in off the ocean, temperatures were hard pressed to reach 60 degrees in most spots. The one saving grace was that the rain held off for the most part. Although this was not the same story down on the Cape, where I heard they received multiple rounds of showers and thunderstorms throughout the day. Had it rained in the Boston area, I’m sure temperatures would of been held down to the 50’s all day.

I love Cape Cod. But the Cape is a place meant to be spent outdoors! There is nothing worse than spending time on the Cape, and the weather does not cooperate! When spending time on the Cape, many like to go to the beach, go on bike rides, play tennis, go fishing, enjoy cookouts with friends and family, or just relaxing outside with the cool breeze blowing in from off of the ocean. If it rains, all bets are off! You’re cooped up inside like a prisoner of Mother Nature! You can only play so many games, and watch so many movies.

If you live down the Cape, you’re at the peril of Mother Nature. I have several friends who live there year round, and I can attest to you that this is no place for the faint of heart! While a summer destination for many during the warm months, the climate on the Cape changes dramatically during the winter. Intense nor’easters batter the Cape, with frequent hurricane force winds, power outages with heavy precipitation of rain, snowy blizzards, and many times a combination of the two!

Last winter was a perfect example of this, as frequent strong nor’easters brought damaging winds, coastal flooding, heavy rain and snow to the region. It was a memorable winter for sure! But it’s not just winter storms. Due to its geographic location, the Cape is also vulnerable to tropical storms and hurricanes. Being a peninsula, the Cape sticks out from the mainland out into the Atlantic some 65 miles! While many storms miss the mainland, they can side swipe or make a direct hit on the Cape!

Other than a few hearty souls, many do not go the the Cape for these fierce storms, nor care for them. Many go for the reasons stated above, to enjoy nature, and relax breathing the refreshing ocean air! While the winters may be stormy, the summers and falls are generally tranquil, with a maritime type climate, of cool foggy nights, and warm, sunny afternoons. At times the weather can get very muggy during the summer, which can lead to prolonged periods of foggy weather.

Not sure how I got sidetracked talking about the Cape! However, I think I would make a good spokesperson for their Chamber of Commerce! I guess the moral of the story is that we’re lucky to have the Cape so close to us to go down there to enjoy!

And come next weekend, we will all be flocking to the Cape and beaches throughout New England! Why? Well it now appears as if a 5 to 7 day heat wave is going to surge into New England beginning this Friday! Folks, last week I poked fun at the media for hyping up a day that may reach 96 degrees ( we didn’t even hit 90). I’m here to tell you, a blast of heat is coming to our region, the likes we haven’t seen in years around here, beginning as early as this Friday!

You may say, Pete, where is this heat coming from? You said it was not going to be a hot summer! Couple of things in my defense. I did say July was going to feature our hottest weather of the summer. Right on cue, the first two weeks of the month look to be torrid! I had confidence in the forecast that we were going to receive a burst of hot weather this summer. The tricky part of that forecast was for how long, and how strong? This heat has been building across the central part of the country for weeks, playing cat & mouse with New England for most of the spring. Now that the solstice has arrived, so to will our first significant heat wave! As the seasons mature, and the oceans begin to warm up, the hot weather will have an easier time reaching coastal New England now.

So far, Boston has only reached 90 degrees once this season. By the time we are through with July, I believe we will have received between 10 and 14 days worth of 90 degree days! If the heat just shut off there, my summer forecast would turn out okay. August was always the wildcard. I’m expecting this heat ridge bubble to retrograde, and move towards the western part of the U.S. as we move deeper into July. This will allow shallow troughs (pockets of cool air) to filter into the eastern part of the U.S. including us here in New England through August. This would essentially shut off the 90 degree days for the balance of the summer. If this does not happen, or is delayed, and the heat continues into August, well then, the forecast is going to go up in burning flames! Would not be the first time!

I can see what’s happening. The problem with many forecasts today is determining the intensity and timing of events. At this juncture, this heat wave could rival some of the great ones. If we can avoid sea breezes along the coast, it could last as long as perhaps one week in duration. The longest heat wave ever recorded here in Boston was way back in 1912 from July 3rd through the 11th, when Boston reached 90 degrees 9 straight days! Hard to believe we haven’t broken this record for well over 100 years! Who says it’s hotter now than it was 100 years ago?

Just how hot am I thinking? According to some of the computer guidance this morning…very hot! It would not shock me if several communities came in close to the century mark in the Sunday-Monday time frame. I’m expecting 90 degree + weather from the period of Friday through at least the 4th of July. If it just stopped there, we would be talking 6 days in a row. But there are indications that it may continue for a day or two longer. It’s not out of the question that we could make a run at the long standing record!

With heat like this, and for so long, this could turn into a dangerous stretch of weather for many. I’m sure excessive heat warnings and advisories will be issued by the NWS as we come closer to the heat wave arriving. Please begin preparations now by making sure your children and elderly folks stay in air conditioned locations, and drink plenty of fluids. Also don’t forget your furry pets! My goodness, imagine wearing a fur coat outside when it’s 100 degrees!

I could get into why I believe the patterns are going to change later in the summer, and  why I am expecting more extreme weather events later this year heading into the upcoming winter. But I will get into all of this later in the summer and as we approach autumn.

Now for your outdoor camping, beach and boating forecast, and your 4th of July outlook!. I’m expecting a very good week for all three activities, especially after today. There will be a storm offshore, which will create some instability along the east coast of New England today. This may result in a few pop up showers this afternoon along the cost. Certainly not a washout. Thereafter, expect beautiful weather for tomorrow and Wednesday. There may be some afternoon thunderstorms heralding in the heat wave, which will begin on Friday. Then watch for triple HHH weather (hazy, hot & humid) straight on through the fourth of July! I’m not expecting much rain through this period, although an afternoon thunderstorm can never be ruled out with this type of air mass. Many have waited a long time for this…a true beach and vacation dream week is coming!

Now for your weekly outdoor summer forecast. I will rate this week a 8 out of 10. Not bad! It could be much worse, they’re expecting more snow up in Newfoundland tonight! Watch for some sun this afternoon/ However. the air is unstable, with cold air aloft. This will promote some late afternoon pop up showers and possibly an isolated thunderstorm? No washout is anticipated. With a northeast wind, temperatures will be cooler than yesterday, with highs only near 70. By the way, the weather will not be the same across the interior today. Expect sunny skies, with temperatures nearing 80!

Watch for clearing skies overnight, with cool temperatures. Lows will range from the 40’s across rural areas, to 50’s to near 60 in urban areas.

Expect fine weather for tomorrow and Wednesday. Look for mainly sunny skies, with temperatures near 80 both days. Tomorrow night will feature clear and cool weather…very similar to tonight.

Advancing hot weather will override the cool air in place on Thursday. This will result in a lot of cloudiness and the risk of a few showers and even some thunderstorms. Temperatures should remain seasonal, with highs near 80.

As a strong high pressure area sinks to our south, expect winds to strengthen out of the southwest on Friday. This will begin to transport hot weather into southern New England. If we see enough sun, temperatures should warm up to near if even slightly over 90 degrees. After that, the flood gates will be open!

Expect full mid summer heat wave conditions to pour into New England over the weekend. Expect hot to very hot weather, with rising levels of humidity. Watch for excessive heat warnings to be issued, as temperatures reach the mid 90’s on Saturday, and 95 to 100 degrees on Sunday and Monday. This, in combination with high levels of humidity, could lead to heat indices of between 95 and 105 degrees!

Thereafter, the hot weather should continue through at least the 4th of July holiday. I’m also expecting mainly dry weather throughout this period. So right now, I’m very optimistic for a absolutely stellar stretch of summer weather for fireworks displays, and beach weather through much of next week! The only question marks would be a light sea breeze on Tuesday temporarily breaking the heat wave? Also, with all the heat heat and humidity, there’s also a chance of advection fog down the Cape and Islands. Otherwise, it’s summer at it’s best!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will be updating everyone on the 4th of July forecast, just in case. I will also have an update as to when I think the heat wave will break, as well as the outlook for July and review for June. Also look for a new beach and boating forecast! In the meantime, I use the word “torch” sparingly when describing warm weather events…this time, the weather will match the description! Be safe!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

 

 

 

The Countdown Is On! 6/19/18

Hello! I apologize for the delay! Every now and again, a major technical malfunction occurs. Such was the case yesterday! Typically, it would be my fault, and I would be upset at myself for pressing the wrong button!

In this case, I wrote out the entire post, some 1800 words, pressed publish, and ‘poof’ it was gone! I’m still trying to figure out exactly what happened! The program typically saves drafts as I’m writing, but nothing was saved this time.

Such a shame, as I covered so many different topics, including the summer update. You may say, just write it again. Of course this can be done, I’m doing it right now,  but it’s never going to be the same as the original. The thoughts and information have escaped my mind, and is difficult to retrieve.

Due to time restrictions, I am going to write an abbreviated post,  try and figure out what happened, and be back with a full write up next Monday!

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed their Father’s Day weekend! Yes, it appears as if we have broken the cycle of rainy weekends! Temperatures started out a bit on the cool side on Saturday, but warmed up enough on Sunday so that many were able to get outside, go to the beach, or take a hike up in the mountains. It was a beautiful weekend!

Which leads us to yesterday. Oh yes, the day when record high temperatures, heat advisories, and talk of schools being cancelled because of the expected heat was going to happen.

Wow…this was a very bad forecast by many. It reminded me of the snowstorm last winter which fizzled at the last second, prematurely closing schools and businesses across the city.

I too believed it was going to be more than 94 degrees yesterday. That’s what the computer data was saying. But again, Mother Nature goes by her own agenda.

A mass of cloudiness dropped further south at the last minute this morning, and basically parked themselves over Boston well into the afternoon.

By the time the sun finally was able to burn through the clouds around 4 pm, it was too late…temperatures barely nudged 90 in Boston, at the last minute. This was far short of the expected high temperature of 96 degrees, with a heat index of 103.

In any event, the media hype train continues to grow with any sign of a possible weather event. What was once just reserved for winter storms, has now spilled over to cold weather, frosts, snow  flurries, and temperatures possibly hitting 90 degrees.

If it indeed did nudge 90, it would be the third such occurrence in Boston this season. Typically, Boston averages approximately 14 days of 90 degree + days each summer. If you recall, my summer forecast called for 10 days of 90 degree + temperatures for this summer in Boston, made back on May 28th.

After reviewing the latest data, I have decided to keep this number in place. I’m still expecting a warm summer, just not an excessively hot one. A lot hinges on just hot August becomes.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I’m expecting a cooler year overall. This is partly due to the developing El Niño (warm water off the Pacific South American coast).

You may ask, Pete, you said El Niño’s make it warmer here in New England? Yes, in general they do. However, El Niño’s come in different strengths. The stronger the El Niño is, the warmer the weather becomes across much of the northern tier of the U.S. including us here in New England.

However, there are strong indications that this El Niño is going to be a weak to borderline moderate event. If this happens, it brings a very different pattern to New England during the late summer, fall and winter.

These types of El Niño’s are much colder, and can bring excessive amounts of snowfall to coastal New England. It’s still very preliminary, but I will be monitoring the El Niño throughout the summer months!

Nevertheless, it’s impacts can be felt early on. Right now, I’m expecting the brunt of the summer heat to happen in July this year. If the heat were to linger into August, we could come close to average amount of 90 degree days.

If you were to place a range, you could say between 10 and 14. My personal forecast is close to 10 but I could see with the right conditions, we could  receive a few more than that. We shall see!

When talking about summer heat, you often here me speak about  ‘bubbles’ of heat, and ‘pockets’ of cool weather. Right now, the summer heat finally made its way into southern New England.

However, a slight shift in the jet stream is going to allow for cooler, drier air to punch into New England from Canada, helping to keep it dry for the balance of the week.

However, there are growing signs that hot weather may try and make a run at us towards the end of the month and to start off July..perhaps a hot July 4th?

The summer idea is that New England will be caught in the middle with cool air to the north, and hot air to our south and west. The end result should be a beautiful equilibrium of mild to warm weather, with periods of hot and cool weather visiting New England from time to time. If this zone shifts too much either way, then the summer could become hotter, or cooler than normal. Will continue to monitor.

Speaking of summer, we are now rapidly approaching the summer solstice! It’s also the time of year when my sister Pam tells me summer is over! As a reminder, just because the days begin to shorten, does not mean summer is over!

It’s the same when we arrive to the winter solstice, the days begin to get longer, but the cold weather gets stronger. A process called latent heating and cooling is the cause for this. It takes longer for the oceans to warm up in the spring, and longer for them to cool down in the fall.

This keeps places like New England milder deep into November and sometimes even into December. It also generally keeps us cooler into May, and sometimes June.

If you are planning on doing some camping, boating, or going to the beach, this is going to turn out being a very nice week! Watch for your best days to be Tuesday, Thursday, then again Friday and Saturday.

It could turn a bit cooler with some instability clouds on Wednesday, with the outside chance of a shower, but no washout is anticipated. Temperatures should be in the 80’s today, 70’s Wednesday and Thursday, then low 80’s again Friday and Saturday.

Now for your weekly outdoor summer activity forecast. I will rate this week a 7 out of 10. Some unexpected clouds and showers resulted in a overrated rating last week in my opinion.

Today may feature some early morning clouds, but a brisk wind is going to pick up, and will essentially whisk away all the humidity! Therefore, expect increasing amounts of sunshine, with dropping levels of humidity, with high temperatures in the lower 8o’s. Should be a great day to get outdoors to the beach!

Expect comfortable conditions overnight, with clear skies and comfortable temperatures. Low should be in the 50’s and 60’s

Watch for early morning sun on Wednesday. However, a small disturbance aloft will be traversing our area. This will not only keep temperatures cooler in the upper 70’s, but may also generate some afternoon  cumulus clouds, which may yield a few scattered showers across the region.

After this disturbance clears the coast, beautiful weather should return for the period Thursday through Saturday, with highs in the mid to upper 70’s Thursday (Happy Summer)! and Friday, and lower 80’s on Saturday.

Another weak disturbance may only serve to foul up beach plans on Sunday. This is not going to result in heavy rain or anything, but may bring with it some considerable cloudiness and a few showers or thunderstorms. It’s still only Tuesday, so things could change!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s update, I will be letting everyone know whether to prepare for a genuine heat wave, or another false alarm! I will also have a long range outlook looking towards the 4th of July holiday week! In the meantime, enjoy the summer solstice! The big question is will real summer weather show up to the party?

Thanks for reading!

Pete

 

 

 

 

Warmer…After Today! 6/11/18

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! All in all, it was nice weekend weatherwise…one that did not feature NO rain for once! Unfortunately, there seemed to be a lot of mid to high level cloudiness in areas along and south of the Mass Pike much of the time. This was in response to another massive rainstorm across the mid Atlantic region. This has been a repetive pattern here in late spring, where they get drenched with downpours, and southern New England is on the northern edge of just some cloudiness.

It may not have rained this weekend, but it was still on the cool side for this time of the year. Believe it or not, parts of northern Maine is still receiving frost at night! It was just last week that Mt. Washington also received an inch of snow! It may seem unusual for us down here in Boston, but in reality, it’s fairly typical for frost up in northern Maine, and a bit of snow on top of Mt. Washington in early June. Remember, Mt. Washington has received measurable snow in each month of the year!

I hate having to keep harping on it, but technically, it’s still spring. Summer does not officially arrive until June, 21st this year. You may say, Pete, what’sa the big deal, it’s practically summer, as it’s only just a little over a week away. I totally agree, but June is one of those weird months weatherwise. Building heat to our south can clash with leftover winter chill to our north, creating a lot of cloudiness and heavy rainfall. This is exactly what’s been happening across the mid Atlantic. In addition, ocean temperatures are slow to warm up during the spring, even now into June. This allows chilly seabreezes to keep coastal areas cooler than one would expect.

Mother Nature also has her own timetable. Even to this date, my confidence with the summer forecast is on the low side. When I blend all my information together, I still believe I made the best educated guesstimate that I could possibly make. There are still no clear signals on how this summer is going to turn out. Computer models are all over the place, at times surging searing heat into New England, only to back off next computer run. It reminds me a lot of the winter, when they keep saying cold and snow are coming, only to have it fizzle at the last second!

I will review the summer forecast next week, to see if I am going to make any changes. Right now, I’m still going with a warm summer, but not terribly hot. Boston averages about 14 ninety degree days each summer. This summer I’m calling for 10 here in the city. This means lots of 80’s may be in our future, which is fine by me, and for many folks who don’t like the extreme heat!

Interesting to note, we’ve already had two 90 degree days here in Boston. If we were to have just an average summer of 90 degree heat, we would end up with about 13 or 14 days of 90 degree days for the season. So we shall see if I’m going to tick it up a few notches, or leave it with my original call.

In the short term, I like what I’m seeing. If you like warm & sunny weather, this is the pattern for you! After a chilly seabreeze today, temperatures will be warming throughout this week. In fact, looking at some of the extended guidance, we could be talking about a possible heat wave about one week from today! A heat wave consists of three consecutive days of 90 degree + tempratures. Last year, Boston received 3 heat waves, one in May, one in June, and one in July, which accounted for 9 ninety degree days. The other three days were scattered in August and September. Though we did not have many more 90 degree days after July, temperatures remained very warm from August through October!

As I have mentioned in previous posts, we are transitioning from La Nina conditions (cold water in the southern Pacific), to El Nino (warm water in the same location). This has many implications not only for our hurricane season, but also for our weather patterns heading into next winter.

For the immediate future, we turn our attention to this years hurricane season. After last years catastrophic storms, I’m expecting a more tame season, this go around. Last year, we had very favorable conditions in the caribbean Sea for storms to develop and turn into massive hurricanes. Not only did they develop into massive storms, but they made direct landfalls resulting in catastrophic amounts of damage.

Last summer we had a surging La Nina. This and along with warmer than normal water, led to the super active season. I’m not an expert in studying La Nina’s, but I do know that this is a good environment for hurricane development. With that being said, I have more experience and understanding of El Nino’s. Perhaps because I have read more about it, and NOAA has known about it longer, so I understand it better.

Typically, when we have a developing El Nino in the Pacific, it increases westerly winds in the upper atmosphere. This creates a hostile environment for hurricanes to develop because it increases wind shear, not allowing hurricanes to strengthen. In an average season, NOAA says to expect between 10 and 12 named storms, with 5 or 6 of these becoming hurricanes. Of these hurricanes, 2 to 3 turn into major hurricanes, of category 3 or higher.

Many are calling for slightly above season. Because of the developing El Nino, I’m expecting a slightly less than average season this year. This does not mean we are out of the woods for a strike! Last year was a good example that it only takes one hurricane to make landfall at the right time, and place resulting in major death and destruction. It just so happened that we had 3 super major storms make direct landfalling hits last season! Oh my!

Everyone has their strong points in studying meteorology. My expertise is studying New England winters and nor’easters. Others are experts in tropical storms…some are good at everything! These forecasts always makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, because of the high risks involved. If you call for a below normal season, and a single hurricane destroys a region, they may remember you for that one bad forecast. This is what happened in 1992, when destructive category 5 Andrew buzz sawed through south Florida. That was the only major storm in that season, but boy was it a doozy! That year was similar to this year, in which we had a developing El Nino that summer. Nonetheless, we do our best to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.

So with all that being said, I’m calling for between 8 and 10 named storms, 3 to 5 becoming hurricanes, with one or two turning into a major hurricane of category 3 or higher. After last years super intense season, this does not seem like much. But we shall see, it’s a long season. With warmer than normal water sitting off the east coast, I’m concerned about a in close development near the east coast and up into New England this year. Also areas in the Gulf Coast need to be attentive. Tropical activity seems to be wanting to develop early this year in this region, as water temperatures have been warmer than average. Though I can’t rule it out, Florida does not appear to be in the cross hairs of a hurricane strike this season. I will monitor closely just to be on the safe side!

By the way, due to the developing El Nino, I’m expecting a much more active hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean. Typically, many of these storms travel west towards Japan, and turn into typhoons. Occasionally, a storm will form off Mexico, and turn north into the Baja of California and Cabo San Lucas, bringing flooding rains and high winds. This leftover moisture can also stream into the desert southwest, bringing welcome rains and cooler temperatures. One such storm may already be threatening. Hurricane Bud has formed off of Mexico, and may threaten these exact areas mentioned above!

Now for your camping, beach and boating forecast. This is the week we’ve been waiting for! The only chance of rain the way I see it right now is on Wednesday, and this will be only hit and miss afternoon summer shower or thunderstorm. Otherwise, expect great weather for tomorrow, most of Wednesday, and then again from Thursday through next weekend! Next weekend looks to be a great weekend for beach and boating with highs well up into the 80’s and sunny skies! Enjoy!

Now for your weekly outdoor summer activity forecast! I will rate this week a 9 out of 10. Wow! We have not seen that rating for quite some time! Expect mostly sunny skies for the remainder of the afternoon. It will be cool along the coast with highs mainly in the low 60’s. However, if you live 10 miles inland from the coast, temperatures should reach into the lower 70’s. Tonight will feature clear skies with cool temperatures, again. Lows will fall into the 40’s in rural areas, and 50’s in the cities.

As a high pressure tracks east of New England, winds will turn more southerly tomorrow. This means it will be warmer, with highs in the mid 70’s across much of the region, except along the south coast, where this wind acts like a seabreeze, keeping it cooler there. Overall, it should be a pleasant day, with a good amount of sun, and a ventilating breeze. With an increase in humidity and southerly winds, there is a chance of some fog along the south coast tomorrow night, so be aware of that.

Wednesday will feature higher humidity levels under a mix of sun and clouds. Temperatures will be similar to tomorrow, but it’s going to feel more muggy. A cold front slicing through the region later in the day may introduce the chance of a thunderstorm.

Expect warm weather on Thursday with a good amount of sun, and lower levels of humidity. Highs should reach the lower 80’s. A fine day.

It may turn slightly cooler on Friday, with just a few more couds around than Thursday, but no rain is anicipated at this time. With a slightly more northwest flow, temperatures should remain in check in the mid 70’s should do it.

Right now, the upper air flow looks to bend enough to allow a southwest flow into the weekend. This will promote warm and dry weather for both Saturday and Sunday. Right now, I’m expecting mainly sunny days, with highs in the mid 80’s on Saturday, and mid to upper 80’s, maybe even close to 90 on Sunday! Thereafter, we may experience another 2 or 3 days into the following week, so get the a.c.’s ready!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next weeks’s blog, I will be updating, and will have my final summer forecast. As mentioned above, it’s entirely possible that I may leave it the way it was. Or, I could tweak it slightly. I will review latest data. I will also have a new beach and outdoor activity forecast. In the meantime, don’t be discouraged with all the cool weather we’ve been experiencing, the warm weather and summer is arriving…and is right on cue!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

~I want to wish a very Happy Birthday to my most loyal fan…my sister, Pam!!!~

Also…Happy Father’s Day!

June: Still Indecisive! 6/4/18

Hello! I hope everyone had a great, weekend! It was a high stakes forecast, with so many graduations and weddings happening at this time of the year! I was so happy that it turned out okay for folks who had events planned here in the Boston area! Friday was indeed a summer preview, with hideous levels of humidity. Saturday started off very muggy, but a sudden windshift to the northeast quickly squashed that humidity south of Boston, temporarily setting summer back. Sunday was a beautiful day…for October! Many folks, including myself, enjoyed the refreshing change. But for those who love the beach, not so much!

You may say, Pete, a summer setback already? We haven’t even begun summer, and you’re already talking about a setback? This is true, and another reason not to panic just yet for this summer. Astronomical summer does not officially begin until June, 21st. As mentioned in previous posts, meteorological summer began June 1st, and ends on August 31st. Summer may not officially be here, but for many folks, Memorial Day kicks off the summer season.

Because summer season tends to be short around here in New England, I’m already hearing concerns about the fate of this summer. Quite honestly, I don’t blame folks. I hear them loud and clear, but there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it! After a winter that lingered through much of April, we are already in June. From this point forward, each lousy weekend begins to chop into the few short months we have to enjoy the summer!

I’m not saying that it’s going to be a lousy summer, but the last official dud of a summer was way back in 2009. Nobody wants a dud summer! I remember that summer well. Folks were huddled on the beach with sweat tops and blankets, as northwest gales persisted through much of the season. But what I am saying is that summer here in New England the past 8 years or so, have been generally nice. With that being said, folks become anxious for nice weather this time of year. In reality, June is still a transition month here in New England. It snowed again up in Newfoundland this past weekend! When it comes to weather here in New England, everything is relative.

Again, you may ask, how many transition months do we have here in New England? Well, each year is different. In recent years, the latent heating and cooling effect has been controlling our weather patterns. This is in large part due to the ocean temperatures. After a long, cold winter, it takes time for the Atlantic Ocean to our east and northeast to warm up. For this reason, winter tends to linger coastal New England. Remember, land heats up much more quickly than oceans. As the heat rises off the land, cool maritime has no resistance to undercut the heat, push inland, chilling off the coast. And because the ocean is still rather cold this time of year, high temperatures in the 50’s is not uncommon. I believe we had similar spells in early June the past several years.

If you love summer, and you live here in New England, you must learn to be patient. I’m not trying to teach everyone a lesson or anything, it’s just the facts. It appears we are still dealing with the last vestiges of the winter pattern, here in early June…kind of like a winter hangover. This is quite normal. In fact, over the past several years, summer didn’t even get going until after the 4th of July! While I’m not expecting an excessively hot summer here in New England, I do believe it will be warm enough to satisfy most folks before we turn the calender to fall.

While I’m expecting this summer to eventually warm up, how long it lasts is the next agenda I’ll be working on. The last two summers extended deep into the autumn. With a weak El Nino coming on, things could change more abruptly for us here in New England later this summer and heading into the fall. I will have more about this development over the next several weeks.

As we move deeper into the season, and the oceans begin to warm up, hot air masses from the south and west will eventually begin to penetrate New England. However, as I mentioned in last weeks summer forecast, this is a very tricky pattern to forecast this summer! We are transitioning from La Nina (cold ocean in the Pacific) to a weak El Nino (slightly warmer ocean in the Pacific). We also have to deal with an increasingly colder looking Atlantic Ocean. This is something that will need to monitored very carefully, not only for this summer, but for years to come.

What this typically means is building heat out in the western part of the country. I like to call these “heat bubbles.” In other words, it’s like a balloon, that expands, and builds. Where these “heat bubbles” build and persist, is where the hottest weather is going to develop this summer. Right now, I’m expecting this to occur in the center part of the nation, which it already is, then retrograde towards the west coast as the summer matures.

What does this mean for us here in New England? As the heat ridge builds out west, a cool pocket develops on the east side. Think of it like a see saw. One side goes up, while the other side comes down. You might be thinking, uh oh, break out the sweat jackets and hoodies this summer! Well, not exactly! Believe me when I say this, we would not want to be under this heat bubble! You’re going to hear news reports this summer at how awful the heat is in much of the country! Right now, I’m still going with a nice mix between the two extremes.

The very hot weather may not be too far away from New England at times. Meanwhile, the very cool weather may also be not too far away at the same time to our north. What this could lead to for us here in New England is a lot of cloudiness and showers and thunderstorms at times. Overall, it should lead to a nice equilibrium of hot and cool air masses, leading to a generally pleasantly warm summer. I will be updating my summer forecast in a few weeks to see if any tweaks are needed.

While I am forecasting a fairly average summer around here, it is interesting to note that May was actually much warmer than average this year in much of New England. This certainly helped dormant trees to help blossom after such a long late winter. While not overly abundant, there has been just enough rain to keep the gardeners happy. Although I am aware that some areas received more than others.

June is looking pretty interesting to me. While summertime heat builds to our south and west, cooling influence from Canada should protect us at least for the first half of June. This should lead to fairly comfortable, seasonable temperatures for our area. Because the boundary will be close to us, I am expecting more periods of wet weather, especially here in southern New England. Later in the month, there are some signs that the pattern may temporarily shift, and allow some hot weather to flood into New England. Boston typically averages about three 90 degree days in June, and I can see us reaching that number before the month is through. Despite the cool start, I am thinking June ends up a bit warmer than normal, but not as warm as May was, against the averages.

Now for your beach, boating and camping forecast. While not the best of weeks, if you time it right, you may get some periods of nice weather. Worse days for outdoor activities this week will be today, tomorrow, and perhaps early Wednesday, then again on Sunday the way it looks right now. Thursday, Friday and Saturday look decent, though watch for a thunderstorm on Friday. Overall, temperatures will be warming back up to seasonable levels, which means low to mid 70’s for many of us.

Now for your weekly outdoor summer activity forecast. I will rate this week a 6 out of 10. Look for mainly cloudy skies for the rest of this afternoon. There may be some leftover drizzle here in the Boston area, and some exiting showers down on the Cape. It will be cool, with highs only in the 50’s.

Tonight will feature mainly overcast skies, though some breaks may show up later at night. With leftover moisture around, we may be dealing with some patchy fog in some places. Lows will generally be in the 40’s and 50’s.

Tuesday will start off with partial sunshine and warmer temperatures. However, a cold pool aloft will be crossing southern New England during the day. This means be prepared for building clouds, along with the chance of afternoon showers, and possibly some isolated thunderstorms containing small hail. The greatest threat for this appears to be areas south of the Mass Pike at this time. With early sun, temperatures will respond to near 70, before any rain develops.

Showers may linger into Tuesday evening, with low temperatures mainly in the 50’s.

There may be some scattered early morning showers on Wednesday, otherwise, I’m expecting a generally dry day, although not with too much sunshine, with highs in the mid 60’s. Fair weather is expected Wednesday night, with lows in the lower 50’s.

I’m expecting generally fair and warm weather from Thursday through Saturday. Although not perfect, a shower still can’t be ruled out during this period. Expect high temperatures in the 70’s on Thursday, lower 80’s on Friday, and mid 70’s again on Saturday. A cold front will approach from the north during Saturday evening, and may complicate the weather for Sunday. A small storm may develop along this front and cross New England with a period of rain Saturday night and into Sunday morning. If this moves quickly enough, it may allow for improvement later Sunday. However with a north, northeasterly flow, temperatures are once again looking to be below average. Timing is subject to change!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will have my hurricane forecast. Sorry I could not fit this in today, as time is short. There is currently no threats for tropical development for this week. I will also be monitoring the latest volcanic activity, and let you know if this has any implications on our weather patterns. I will also have a new summer outdoor activity forecast. In the meantime, let’s hope Mother Nature figures it out soon, the natives are getting restless!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Summer Forecast! 5/28/18

Hello! I hope everyone is enjoyong their long holiday weekend! Though I want to say Happy Memorial Day to everyone, it just doesn’t seem the like the right thing to say. We say happy for holidays such as Thanksgiving, Independence Day and Easter. These are happy days when we gather with friends and family to celebrate a joyous occasion. Though there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be happy on Memorial Day, we should remember what this holiday stands for.

Plain and simply, Memorial Day is a day to honor, remember and give thanks for the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrafice to serve our country, to help bring us our freedom that we enjoy today! Without them, we would not be able to enjoy our backyard cookouts, and going to the beach. While we’re at it, let’s remember our family members and friends who have passed away over the years, and first responders who place their lives on the line everyday to help protect us!

As is typically the case, the weather has been the talk of the town around here…and not for reasons many would like it to be. It has been yet another split decision weekend of nice weather here in the Boston area. There’s been so many split decisions going back to the early spring, I’ve lost count! Too bad we could not reverse the days from Friday and Saturday with Sunday and Monday!

The weekend started off strong, with sunny and very warm to even hot weather for both Saturday and Sunday. If you love the beach, I hope you were able to spend some time there during these two days. Later Saturday is when the change began. A strong back door cold front moved in from northeast to southwest during the day. Sometime around 5 pm, the sky turned dark, and winds began to pick up out of the northeast. Temperatures began to plummet. Boston’s temperature was 88 degrees at 5 pm, only to fall some 25 degrees in a few short hours! Temperatures continued to plummet through the night, bottoming out at 53 degrees Sunday afternoon.

I was at my nephew’s baseball game Saturday evening and underestimated the chill of the northeast wind, with my short sleeved shirt on. Wow, did that chill me to the bone! For those who were blasting the air conditioners earlier in the day, heard the heat click on later that night! If you do the quick math, that’s a 35 degree temperature drop in 24 hours!

If you’re thinking, cold fronts typically don’t move from the northeast to the southwest. You’re correct, they typically don’t! They generally move from west to east. In fact, this is a phenominon that is unique for us here in New England. How special that Mother Nature is always thinking of us!

But why does it turn 35 degrees colder here in New England, yet you hear of temperatures of near 100 degrees off to our south and west? Well, the answer is somewhat complex, but it is explainable. You hear of me speaking many times about New England’s position on earth. We are located exactly halfway between the Equator and the North Pole. This in itself will lead to wild temperature swings and big storms! In addition, the North Atlantic Ocean is literally surrounding us, leading to classic phenominon called latent heating and cooling.

Meaning the ocean takes longer for it to heat up than land mass during the spring. This leads to heat rapidly rising over land, and cold pools of air pooling off to our east and northeast over the ocean. As the air rises over inland areas, the heavier, more dense air comes rushing in along the coastal plain as the back door cold front charges in from northeast to southwest across New England. In the fall, it’s the exact opposite, with the ocean taking longer to cool off than the land mass, keeping the coast milder deeper into the atumn and early winter. All of these combine to bring us very changeable weather conditions, with not any one pattern lasting too long.

In the “it could always be worse department,” winter refuses to leave Atlantic Canada! Newfoundland experienced its second largest snowstorm on record at the end of last week, with many areas receiving nearly 20 inches of heavy wet snow! This was very impressive and unusual, even for their standards! While we did not receive snow, you could easily trace where the cold surge of air came from! The storm was so large, it helped propel the back door cold front through Boston, bringing the much colder temperatures all the way up from there, down through New England!

I could see how all of this talk of back door cold fronts, plummeting temperatures and even snow could have many very concerned about our impending summer! We endured through quite a long winter, and most folks are looking forward to a long hot summer! Well, I hate to say it, but the weather just doesn’t work that way! Just because we had a pretty rough winter, does not necessarily mean a beautiful summer is on the way. At least I don’t look at it that way!

Many forget quickly. After the epic winter of 2014-15, New England witnessed some of it’s warmest temperatures ever recorded for the region. in fact, we had nearly 24 straight months of above average temperatures! A record warm El Nino (warm water in the Pacific) had a lot to do with that. Since then, we’ve had two consecutive La Nina’s (cold water in the Pacific). that has helped to cool off the atmosphere, back to near normal levels here in New England. After a few years of above normal temperatures, I am expecting a cooler year overall, with more precipitation. We are already ahead in precipitation, and I’m expecting this trend to continue right to the end of the year.

We are now transitioning out of La Nina, and headed towards either neutral conditions, or a weak El Nino for next winter. Unfortunately for me, these transition summers tend to be the most difficult to forecast around here. Currently, there is no clear signal as to how hot it’s going to get around here this summer. Therefore, I must rely on my intuition, and past analog summer patterns, similar to this one.

To see who is going to receive the hottest weather this summer, I look at current trends. I like to look at where air masses are building, which gives me clues as to where the hot and cool weather is going to be. I call these air masses, bubbles of heat, and pools of cool air. Once these air masses establish themselves, they tend to linger or persist over a particular area over the course of the entire season.

So far early on, I am seeing heat bubbles build up in the center of the country, and cool pools establishing themselves across the Canadian Maritimes, to our northeast. There are some indications, that this pattern is going to retrograde over the course of the summer, shifting the core of the hottest weather out to the western part of the country, and the cool pools over the center of the country. This would leave the door open for New England to receive periods of cool weather from Canada, and times of warm to briefly hot weather to visit us on occasion from the south.

What does this all mean? Right now, I am expecting a somewhat cooler than normal summer here in New England. I measure how hot the summer is, as to how many 90 degree temperatures we receive here in Boston. Logan Airport typically receives 14 days of 90 degree plus temperatures in an average season. Last year we had 12. My best educated guess for this summer in Boston is to go less than the longterm average. I’m expecting less heat waves this summer, if any at all. To classify as an official heat wave, we must have three consecutive 90 degree days in a row. Currently, I do not foresee many heat waves this summer in Boston. Therefore, the total number of 90 degree days I’m expecting here in Boston this summer is 10. We have already had one here in May.

This number is somewhat lower than what I have seen posted by some meteorologists and government agencies, such as NOAA, who’s actually predicting a hotter than normal summer, but do not give any specifics such as how many 90 degree days. I have studied past summers transitioning from La Nina to El Nino, and many have tipped to the cooler side. In addition, with us being close to the boundary of warm and cool, I’m expecting more thunderstorms and more rain than normal this summer across our area. With this type of forecast, one could say it’s going to be a cool, wet summer. No, I don’t believe that it will be the case. I believe we will have our share of warm weather this summer, probably enough to please most folks.

What could go wrong? Quite a bit! As I have said, many don’t want to touch summer forecasts. Steering currents are generally weaker, and can change unexpectedly. If the jet stream retreats into northern Canada, warm to hot air could spread more freely across the country, even into New England. Here are some of the intangibles: If the warm water off the Atlantic coast can maintain itself, and we don’t get as much rain as I’m planning, it could help develop one or two heat waves up into southern New England, which could bump up the number of 90 degree days up to 12 to 14. This could help it to bring summer temperatures close to “normal”, which is still entirely possible.

Conversely, If a block develops over Greenland, it could strengthen the northern jet stream, resulting in cooler air frequently diving down from Canada into New England, resulting in shorter periods of hot weather, and fewer 90 degree days than forecasted. You may say I took the middle of the road approach, and I would say you’re probably correct! At this time, this is my best educated guess on our summer forecast. As always, I will update and may tweek this forecast when the summer solstice arrives on June 21st. I have mentioned this many times before, it’s a long summer, and Mother Nature sometimes does not show her true intentions until the official astronomical season arrives!

How about for the short term? Your beach and boating forecast looks decent for this week. Watch out for choppy seas on Wednesday, and again next weekend! Otherwise, the weather looks to improve greatly for tomorrow, through early Friday. Inclement weather may once again arrive as we head towards nest weekend. Look for warm weather for tomorrow, then again on Thursday for your best beach days. If you’re planning on doing some camping, best weather looks to be from tomorrow through early Friday. Showers and downpours may become an issue later Friday through next weekend.

Now for your weekly spring outdoor activity forecast. I’m rating this week a 6 out of 10. Expect brightening skies this afternoon, especially across inland locations. If we’re lucky, we may see a very colorful sunset! I’m not expecting any rain, so evening cookouts should go off without a hitch. With the increased radiation from the sun, temperatures are going to be about 10 degrees warmer than yesterday. You can turn off the heat now!

There may be some leftover moisture overnight to develop some patchy fog, otherwise expect clearing skies, and mild temperatures, lows will be in the 50’s.

Just in time to go back to school and work, expect sunny skies and very warm temperatures tomorrow, with highs into the lower 80’s inland, and mid 70’s along the coast with a light seabreeze. Fair weather is expected tomorrow night, with lows in the 50’s.

Expect a stronger seabreeze to develop on Wednesday. This will not be as strong as the one we had on Sunday. Nevertheless, temperatures will still be a good 10 degrees cooler along the coast on Wednesday. With a front in the area, there may also be some scattered rain showers, but a washout is not anticipated. high temperatures will range from the mid 60’s along the coast, to mid 70’s inland.

Winds will strengthen from the southwest on Thursday. This will drive temperatures back up into the mid 80’s. As a front approaches, there is a chance of some showers Thursday night, with muggy weather arriving as well. Low temperatures will mainly be in the 50’s and lower 60’s.

A front will slowly be approaching on Friday. This and in combination of tropical moisture moving up the coast from our south, will increase the chances of showers across the region. It will be warm and increasingly muggy, with highs in the mid 80’s.

Right now, next weekend is looking very shaky. A block in the North Atlantic may actually shunt the remains of Alberto towards the mid Atlantic coast. This could possibly develop a coastal type of storm to develop. If this does indeed develop, and move south of New England, it could mean a weekend of damp weather, with showers, mist, drizzle and northeast winds for both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday would be the warmer of the two days, but if that storm gets going Sunday will be like yesterday all over again, with even more rain. I knmow there are many outdoor events happening, such as graduation parties and weddings…Sorry about that! There’s still time for some adjustments!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will be talking about our hurricane season, which officially begins this Friday. I will also have a June preview, and a review of how May turned out. In the meantime, looks like one of those summers to be prepared for anything…in other words, pretty typical New england weather!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

More Spring Changes! 5/21/18

Hello! I hope everyone enloyed their weekend! I noticed plenty of pictures of graduations, proms, weddings, and many other outdoor events and activities! Unfortunately, the weather did not fully cooperate. Saturday started off promising with plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures. However, in typical New England fashion, clouds raced in, and before you knew it, rain was falling in much of the area. It turned downright cold, too! As the rain fell, it cooled the atmosphere even more, dropping temperatures into the upper 40’s and low 50’s…brrr! As winds turned southwest, Sunday turned much warmer! Too bad lots of clouds remained stubborn across the area, with many communities seeing a downpour during the late afternoon as a cold front passed through the region.

That cold front swept the inclement weather out to sea last night, leaving us with a spectacular Monday, just in time for everyone to go back to work and school! Oh my, what a day! Checking out all the observations and data from the area, this could actually be the best weather day of the entire month! What would constitute a top weather day in May? I would say we need lots of sunshine…like 100% of the possible. Check! Next, temperatures. An optimun temperature for this time of the year would be between 75 and 80. Check!! How about winds? Yes, we don’t want it too windy to make it feel chilly or anything. Check!!! In fact, winds will be so light, it may flop onshore right at the beaches this afternoon, with a feeble seabreeze. All in all, I would give this day a 10! If only we Mother Nature would cooperate, and send some of this beautiful weather on our weekends!

As we all know, Mother Nature goes by her timetable, and has no regard to our beach plans, or golf outings. What I’m saying is that I hope this doesn’t turn into a persistant trend, with inclement weather over the weekends, and beautiful weather during the week! So far, this has certainly been the case here during May. No doubt, the weather works in patterns. Once you get locked into a certain pattern, it can last for a whole season in some cases!

Will that be the case this summer? I don’t believe so. With that being said, it’s been a very rough transition from winter to spring this year. I find it hard to believe that it was just a few weeks ago that pretty much all the trees still did not have leaves on them! April was cold around these parts, and spring was non existent. Then May arrived, and with it came a surge of warm to even hot weather the first few days of the month. Boston recorded its first 90 degree temperature on May 3rd this year. This burst of heat was most certainly needed to get the leaves blooming. It turned so warm, that spring caught up in its timetable. What was once a three week delay, literally caught up in only a few days!

It was an amazing process to watch. Everything bloomed all at once! It may of been a short spring this year, but it certainly made the most out of the time it had! With plenty of moisture this winter and early spring, tree blossoms, lawns and flowers are showing us why we love living here in New England! Just like the weather, we literally have nearly every species of trees and flowers thriving here! While driving around over the weekend, I thought to myself just how underrated the spring colors are around here. From vibrant fuschia, to magnificent blues, vivid greens, and eye popping yellows and reds…it’s springs version of autumn!

So the seasons are transitioning rapidly now. We are now only 10 days away from the start of meteorological summer! For record keeping, meteorologists break up the seasons into 4 quarters. Meteorological summer is the three months starting on June 1st through August 31st. Sometimes Mother Nature cooperates, and summer begins like clockwork right around June 1st. Other years, it waits patiently to arrive right when the solstice occurs, around June 21st. In my experience, summers that hold off until arriving around the solstice typically are the hottest for us here in New England. There have been others that bring heat around Memorial Day, back off, then come back with a vengeance later in June and July.

What about this summer? Hard to believe my official summer forecast will be released just one week from today! I remember speaking about it way back in March, thinking how far away it still is. Time is flying by! As I have mentioned before, I believe summer is more of a challenge to forecast than winter. The reason being is that the steering currents become weaker in summer, and there are fewer strong signals as to say what may happen. This year is no exception. While the majority of computer models are showing cooler and wetter, there are still some fairly reliable models forecasting some decent heat and humidity for us here in New England.

It’s hard to use the pattern here in May as a clue for the summer weather. I don’t believe the true summer pattern has evolved yet across the U.S. If this pattern were to dominate this summer, we would be looking at a warm summer, with plenty of rain. Technically, we’re still in spring. The cold weather on Saturday is good example of this. While it’s been warm down here in southern New England, it’s still been pretty cold up in Canada. Occasionally, when the jet stream dips far enough south, a pocket of cold air can briefly visit our latitude. This typically does not last, as shown by the marked warm up we had on Sunday. It’s still kind of a back and forth, up and down pattern, with no real summer pattern locking in just yet. We shall see if I can determine what this summer is going to bring to us by next week!

With the warmer weather, comes thoughts of going to the beach, camping and hiking! So far, there have been few beach days here in our area. That’s not to say there has not been nice days to go to the beach! There has, just not real beach days. There’s still a leftover chill many days right at the beaches, and the water could give you hypothermia if you stay in too long! I could see today being a nice day to head to the beach. A light seabreeze could make it cooler right at the waters edge, but not cold enough to keep you away. This is normal for May. Not known to be a true beach month, we may average about 5 days nice enough to go to the beach during May. After today, the weather will become iffy tomorrow, then nice again Wednesday through Friday, only to turn shaky again for the upcoming holiday weekend.

Planning some camping and hiking? The weather looks great today, not so nice later tomorrow into early Wednesday with showers. From what I can see, the weather is looking good for a good portion of Wednesday through much of Saturday. Thereafter, there may be some showers to contend with on Sunday and Monday. So far, a complete washout is not anticipated…but that may be subject to change for the better or worse this far out.

Before I get to my official forecast, I wanted to give a huge shout out to the Beethoven Elementary School in West Roxbury!!! I was invited to do my first weather presentation to all the first graders last Wednesday! I wasn’t sure what to expect, and was a bit nervous at first, but the faculty and staff could not of been any nicer in making me feel welcome and appreciated! It was a pleasure meeting each and everyone of you!

And of course…it was all about the kids! The kids were a great reflection of the outsdanding staff they have at the Beethoven! They were extremely obedient, asked many super intelligent questions, and were very eager to listen as to what I had to say! We covered a variety of topics, such as how the seasons change, why the weather here in New England is so changeable, why leaves change in the fall, thunder, lightning and a great question from a teacher about volcanoes! It was very light, and fun was had by all!

Now for your weekly outdoor spring activity forecast. I will rate this week a 7 out of 10…weighted heavily for weather during the weekdays. Expect a near perfect 10 for the rest of today, with brilliant sunshine, deep blue skies and light winds….wow! Temperatures should respond, with highs near 80 most places, perhaps a few degrees cooler within a mile of the ocean. Enjoy!

Look for fair weather this evening, later on, clouds may begin to increase, but no rain is expected tonight. Low temperatures will fall into the 40’s and 50’s, warmest of course in urban heat island areas.

A small storm will be approaching from the west on Tuesday. After a warm front passes in the morning, a cold front will be approaching during the afternoon. Expect mainly cloudy skies, with a period of showers to traverse the region from west to east during the afternoon and evening. It will be mild, but not as warm as today, with highs in the upper 60’s and lower 70’s.

I am expecting generally fair and mild to warm weather for the period Wednesday through Friday. High temperatures will be between 75 and 80 on Wednesday, a bit cooler on Thursday with a seabreeze, but warming up again to the low 80’s on Friday. It should be mainly dry, though there is a small risk of a pop up shower on Thursday, but certainly no washout is anticipated.

The weather over the holiday weekend is looking a bit shaky at best at this point. I believe we will generally have mainly fair and warm weather on Saturday, with highs in the lower 80s. A wavy front nearby, as well as moisture streaming up from the south would mean that I have to introduce the chance of some showers for both Sunday and Monday. From what I see right now, I am not anticipating a total washout. Though as I mentioned above, being six or seven days out, this forecast could change for the better or worse. For right now, I’ll go optimistic, and say some showers here and there, but no washout. At the same token, I don’t see a summer fun filled weekend with tons of fun at the beach. In other words, fairly typical for late May around here.

Temperatures are going to be tricky. As mentioned above, a wavy weather front will be in the region, with cool air to the north, and very warm air to the south. Right now, seeing how this spring has gone so far, I would bet on onshore winds at least for Sunday, which would mean cool temperatures for east coast beaches, with highs in the 60’s. It could turn much warmer on Memorial Day itself? Something to monitor!

Well, that’s about it for today! In next week’s blog, I will be publishing my official 2018 summer forecast! I will also have a new beach and camping forecast, as well as your general weekly forecast. In the meantime, I think I’ll head down to the bay, to enjoy this beautiful day in May, before more changes come our way!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Something For Everyone…5/14/18

Hello! Happy Mother’s Day! I hope everyone had a enjoyable weekend! As has been the case for what seems like months now, the weather was a split decision across the region. Friday was sunny and warm. Saturday turned rainy and cold. Sunday started off dreary & cool, but thankfully the sun broke through, for a much brighter afternoon. A cool wind off the ocean kept a chill to the air along the coast.

Whatever the weather, I hope everyone was able to spend some time with mom & family. I know there are many who no longer have their mom’s, and this time of the year can be especially difficult. There’s no way we can bring them back, but we do have memories, and hope the hope that their spirit will live on for eternity. I am very grateful that we were able to celebrate another Mother’s Day with mom!

Ahhhh May…just when you think we’re in the clear, back comes on the heat! Wow, it turned downright cold Saturday afternoon as the rain moved in! It was just a couple weeks ago that we seemingly went from winter straight into summer, with folks frantically looking for air conditioners! It’s the time of year when summer is so close, yet can feel so far away at times! This time of the year, the wind direction makes all the difference in the world. We can be enjoying temperatures well up into the 80’s one day with southwest winds, then have the heat on the next day with raw onshore winds and temperatures in the 40’s!

As I have mentioned before, May is a true transitional month going from spring to summer. It’s a very similar month as November, going from autumn to winter. Despite the recent chill, May is averaging well above normal in temperatures, thanks to the very warm to hot weather we experienced at the beginning of the month. This is no surprise to me, as I was expecting May to feature above average temperatures.

How we get there is a different story. It’s always the extremes that make the averages. Just this week I’m expecting temperatures to range from the 80’s to the 50’s! The mean between these two extremes is approximately 65 degrees, which is about the average temperature for this time of year! Guess which day I’m expecting offshore winds??

Why the big changes? Well, after a brutally cold April across the midwest, the weather patterns have done a complete reversal, with the first 12 days of May being the warmest on record! The jet stream has lifted just far enough to the north, to allow a big bubble of warm air to build across the middle part of the nation. At the same time, leftover winter cold continues to plague much of Canada.

Because New England’s proximity to Canada and the North Atlantic Ocean, we are susceptible to intrusions of chilly air masses, especially moving in from the northeast. I speak of this often, but the main culrpit lies in latent heating and cooling of the oceans. It takes longer for the oceans to heat up in the spring than the land, and longer for them to cool off in the fall. This means coastal New England stays cooler deeper into the spring than interior locations, and milder deeper into the fall.

I follow an interesting person on Twitter from Newfoundland! As chilly as it may be sometimes here in New England, winter lingers up there sometimes until June! Though the ocean modifies the climate, its latitude alone means long hard winters, and short cool summers. I remember seeing photos of whole homes buried under snow from repetitive winter storms this past winter. In some ways, it’s similar to coastal New England, especially Maine, just that the winters are longer and even snowier, if you can believe it. However, just the majestic beauty of the region makes it a top location for me to visit someday soon!

Getting back to the matter at hand, it appears as if this spring pattern is going to intensify over the next 7 to 10 days. With winter cold air up in Canada, and summer heat across the south, New England is going to be caught in somewhat of a squeeze play of sorts. A wavy weather front is going to separate the two seasons, and New England is going to be caught right in the middle. With such a temperature contrast, this means we can expect quite a bit of rain coming our way! Good for lawns and gardens, bad for folks looking to get an early start on their sun tans.

This does not mean it’s going to rain everyday. This week alone will feature something for everyone, as the title of today’s post says! It could be worse! We could be dealing with evacuating our homes due to a volcanic eruption!

Wow..the poor folks in Hawaii. At last count, up to 2,000 people are being evacuated from their homes. Fissures, from the Kilauea volcano has been splitting neighborhood streets open, and creeping into people’s back yards, spewing lava and molten rock dangerously close to their homes! Now, geologists believe a major steam eruption is imminent! Though somewhat different than other types of explosions, where part of the cone of the volcano just explodes, this brings its own dangers.

This is a very dangerous situation! If volcanologists say a major explosion is imminent, folks should heed the warning! If this volcano explodes, it could hurl boulders the size of small cars at least a half mile away from the eruption, and spew dangerous sulfur dioxide gases into the atmosphere. If the eruption reaches its full potential, scoldering steam will be emitted, as well as an ash explosion of possibly up to 20 miles up into the atmosphere. Depending on which direction prevailing winds are blowing will have a serious impact on where this ash will settle.

You may say this is so far away from New England, we have nothing to be worried about around here, right? Well, obviously we would not be directly affected by the eruption. However, as I mentioned in last weeks blog, everything that happens on earth has a reason, and a effect. Tons of ash exploding into the atmosphere would get caught up in the jet stream, and spread out across the atmosphere over time. If it were only the volcano in Hawaii erupting, it would probably be no big deal. However, there are several other active volcanoes around the world that are also dangerously close to having major eruptions. Should these other volcanoes erupt in unison, enough ash could be distributed into the upper atmosphere resulting in a global reduction in temperature. It has happened before, so it’s definitely something to closely monitor!

Hard to believe the summer forecast will be released just two short weeks from today! Like other seasonal forecasts, it appears as if this one too is going to come down to the wire, as to which direction I lean to. As I have mentioned before, I rate how hot our summers are by how many 90 degree days we see. Right now, I’m keeping a close eye on where these “bubbles of heat” are forming. In many cases, these air masses form in the deep southwest, and are transported northeast towards New England. If there’s no barrier from Canada, New England can cook for days on end. Other factors including how much rainfall we receive and how cloudy it is can determine how hot it actually gets. While I don’t see a scorcher of a summer, I can still see a nice mix of pleasant temperatures along with just enough hot weather to please everyone. I still have two weeks to work on this, so please check back then!

If you are planning a outdoor trip which features camping and hiking in New England, please be prepared for rapidly changing conditions this week! While temperatures may be warm, I’m expecting periods of soaking showers, especially tomorrow and towards next weekend. As for the beach, we’re getting close to Memorial Day, which offically kicks off the beach season! Until then, you will need to plan accordingly for best days, as a changeable pattern keeps us on our toes with warms days, puncuated by cool days, and periods of rain and damp conditions. Sounds very much like what I would expect for May. If this pattern were to continue later into June and July, then I would become concerned!

Now for your weekly outdoor spring activity forecast. I will rate this week a 6 out of 10. Expect lots of sun this afternoon, with warm temperatures. In fact, it would not be a bad idea to take a trip to the beach or boardwalk this evening for a quick stroll! Temperatures should warm up into the mid to upper 70’s. Skies should remain generally clear this evening, with low temperatures dropping only into the 50’s overnight. This type of pattern promotes patches of dense fog along the south coast and Cape Cod. Please be aware of this.

A cold front will be approaching New England tomorrow. First, a warm southwesterly wind and some sunshie should warm up many locations into the lower 80’s. As the cold front approaches, there is a chance of a line of strong to perhaps even severe thunderstorms to cross the region anytime after 3 pm. This activity may last into the first part of the evening, then slowly diminish. If severe weather develops, please listen to local updates for your community. Later at night, winds will turn into the north, filtering in cooler and drier air.

An onshore flow off the ocean will keep eastern Massachusetts chilly on Wednesday, with highs only making into the mid to upper 50’s! West of of Interstate 495, you will see temperatures about 10 degrees warmer. If the flow remains easterly Wednesday night, we may see some low clouds and fog across eastern locations, under cool temperatures.

A return flow on Thusday should produce a land breeze. If this happens, it will be warmer, with temperatures responding to the mid to even upper 70’s. Right now, I am not anticipating any rain on Thursday.

A wavy weather front will be approaching from the south and southeast on Friday. This front will be the focul point of showers and downpours which will begin later Friday, and may continue through the weekend. Right now, I am not optimistic for nice weather for the upcoming weekend. However, we have seen forecasts like this before, only to change for the better. As a reminder, skill level drops off considerably after 3 days. Hopefully we can get this system out of the way, so we can enjoy nice weather for the following weekend, which happens to be Memorial Day weekend!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will have my long range outlook for the Memorial Holiday weekend…wow! Where is the time going? I will also begin to focus in on the summer forecast! Also check out the beach and camping forecast. In the meantime, there’s something for everyone this week, in other words…welcome to spring in New England!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

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