Thursday, April 17, 2014
At least there is no talk of drought so far this summer. Again, areas saw more showers overnight. The bigger news was the marine air that filtered past Portland and west into New Hampshire and parts of Vermont. East of there, dew points and temperatures fell and the night had a coolness to it we haven’t seen in many days. Unfortunately, for those who hate the heat and humidity, this is but a brief reprieve in a hot and humid pattern.
Temperatures and humidity levels will both rise today and by the end of the day it will be back in the upper 70s and lower 80s over most areas. We still have the ever present chance of showers and thunderstorms with the highest threat in the foothills and mountains. The most likely time for any rainfall will be after 3 PM, although in a soupy air mass such as this, any time is possible.
A large and intense area of high pressure is going to build from the western Atlantic and create a somewhat more stable, but hot and humid flow into Maine for the next week. A summary of the weather would be our chance of rain goes down as temperatures go higher. I expect from tomorrow onward inland areas over York, Cumberland and southern Oxford counties to have 3-4 day heat wave. Towns along the water, including Kennebunk, Portland, Brunswick may flip to a sea breeze keeping coastal areas from ever having an official heat wave. It won’t matter what the official temperature reads, it’s going to be hot for many of you.
While the amount of clouds and showers has been atypical for late June and early July, the upcoming heat is right on schedule. Some of our hottest weather occurs during the next few weeks, with one of the hottest days ever in New England occurring on August 2nd 1975 when Portland hit a record shattering 103F.
I am not expecting anything close to that during this heat wave as we will have a southwesterly flow of moist tropical air. This wind direction brings heat and humidity, but the heat is somewhat tempered by the ocean. To hit 100F our winds should really be coming more off the land.
You might be wondering how much longer the chance for showers will last. There is still a flash flood watch up for the Connecticut River valley and southwest New Hampshire today. Most of northern New England will not see any showers most of the time. We can almost remove the word rain from the forecast tomorrow through the upcoming weekend when the core of the heat and humidity are with us.
There are lots of activities for the holiday tomorrow and any pop-up storms will be very isloated. In other words, we finally have a dry day. Temperatures will be warm and it will be humid. If you are planning on watching on the fireworks, bug spray will be the most important thing to have on hand. Sunset is around 8:25 for most of New England, so the shows won't begin until around 9, when it get's dark enough. Happy Birthday America!
Summer weather patterns are much more innocuous than their wintertime counterparts. For this reason, the computer models actually can have a tougher time forecasting the details of the long range. Next week there are questions about whether the heat and humidity remain in place with dry weather, or a front gets stuck south of the area with a return to the showery pattern of the past 6 weeks. I’ll be interested in how this plays out as we enter the second week of July.Tweet
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 GrowingWisdom.com, 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.