Saturday June 22, 2013 | 09:20 AM
Posted by David Epstein

I'll be updating the details of the weekend forecast on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

Summer officially arrived just after 1 AM Friday along the east coast and this means that the sun has now reached its highest point in the sky for the year.  Some kids may still be in school, but the days lose a few seconds of daylight from now until just before Christmas.  

The good news is that the speed that the light is lost is very slow and the sunset time will not change dramatically until later in July.    The speed of light loss does increase quite quickly from July 7th to the 31st.  On the 7th we lose about a minute of daylight, by the 31st, it's over 2 minutes less light each day.

The weekend forecast and into the middle of next week is looking quite nice with summer warmth and humidity for 4 to 5 days before a change to cooler weather for the second part of next week.

Both of our major models are advertizing the period of warmth followed by a change in the pattern heading into July 4th.  Today will be warm day, but there will be cloudiness around. Let's call it partly cloudy with highs around 80-85F.  The further north you are, the less sun there will be today. Temperatures at the shore and in the mountains will be cooler, remaining in the 70s.  As far as humidity, it will be quite comfortable all day as the true steamy air remains south of New England.   There are showers in the forecast, but nothing too heavy.  The highest risk will be in the mountains and foothills both today and Sunday.  
There is an air quality alert for areas shaded in grey.  The reason is that a southwest flow of air is funneling in the dirty air from the mid-Atlantic region.  Unless you have respiratory issues, you probably won't notice any difference. 
Overnight will be mild with lows in the 50s to low 60s, but still not too humid.   Sunday will turn warmer and humidity will increase and inland areas around Sanford, Bridgton, Fryeburg and surrounding area will reach the upper 80s.   Some fog may start the day east Rockland where it will remain in the 70s.   Portland should hit about 83F.
Monday the humidity will be quite high and it will be uncomfortable for some of us.  Highs will reach the upper 80s to near 90F.  Tuesday and Wednesday will see a continuation of this pattern with heat and humidity.   I don't expect 90F degree readings along the coast, but the warm spots over interior York, Cumberland and Oxford Counties will make a run at that mark.
On Wednesday night a front will cross the area and bring an end to this period of heat and high humidity.  Check out the graph below which shows the temperature trend in Portland for the next two weeks.  The numbers are probably not exact, but the trend is clear.   The further out in time the forecast is made, the less accurate it will be.  In other words, that high temperature for July 4th can be off by many degrees.  More on the holiday forecast in the coming days.

Gardening this week How are the plantings looking that you have against the foundation of your dwelling? Are they overgrown, too small or crowded? Check out this video in which I show you one foundation planting from start to finish. I added several important tips throughout the video.

I'll be updating the details of the July 4th forecast on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

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About the Author

David Epstein has been a meteorologist for more than 25 years. He spent 16 years in Boston and currently freelances at WGME13 in Portland.

In 2006, David founded, a business producing educational and marketing videos for the green industry. He currently is a professor at Framingham State College, teaches Jan Plan at Colby College and owns Bloomscapes Inc., a landscape design business.

David authored "Gardens Of New England" and his work has been published in Grolier's Science Annual for 10 years. He lives in South Natick, Mass., and has a summer home in Harpswell.

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