The weather was quite nice for the Fourth of July, and while it can be quite hot this time of year, temperatures stayed comfortably warm. I was a bit surprised that patches of clouds made it far enough south so parts of southern Maine saw more clouds than sunshine for a few hours Tuesday afternoon. This was caused by an upper level disturbance to the north.

Temperatures will continue to be near average for a while. The sun is very strong in early July, and the intensity of it keeps the air feeling warmer than the reading on the thermometer. Humidity is low and the UV index will stay near the top of the chart today, so continue to use that sunscreen.

The variation in July is less about whether it will be warm and humid but rather a question of just how warm and humid the day-to-day will be. As I look out over the next couple of weeks, the pattern isn’t conducive to prolonged heat waves or prolonged humidity. I also don’t see any extended rain.

Starting Thursday, things will become humid for a couple of days. The humidity will build into Friday, bringing along an increased risk of showers and storms. I am hopeful for at least some significant showers, but I can’t be sure just yet. Areas of coastal Maine are quietly heading into a drought. It’s early to know if this is a short-term issue which could turn around with a few healthy doses of rain or if we are headed for burned out lawns again.

Areas in southern Maine have been drier than average for the past month. NOAA Data

The drought monitor is starting to show drier than average conditions around Portland. You may notice lawns and gardens needing water.

After the showers end, the weekend is looking quite nice with a return to lower humidity and  warm temperatures. We are rapidly approaching the warmest week of the year, so it stands to reason highs in the low to mid-80s are going to be common for a while. The chart below shows how temperatures have been this year as compared to average. The red line at the top shows the record highs and the light blue line shows the record lows. The brown shading shows average temperatures.

Temperatures are on average their highest the third week of July. NOAA Data

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