Sunday, December 8, 2013
If you asked someone about the weather so far this summer, they might tell you about the humidity. While records for the amount of humidity in the air are not easily obtained, anecdotally, it seems like it’s been much more humid for a longer period of time this summer than we are use to.
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I am not a big fan of using this type of reasoning to say it’s been an unusually humid summer. The reason is that our collective memories tend to be skewed somewhat towards forgetting the extremes of the past. I am not sure very many of us would remember if the summer of 1977, 1984 or 1998 was humid or not. We have great data on temperature, rainfall and even wind, but humidity or dew point is another matter. It is obtainable, but it would take some computer work. This is something I am hoping to explore for the future. That said, it does feel like our tropical times have been unsual.
In terms of heat this summer we have endured a higher number of 90F degree days than is expected. This has been especially true inland where some areas have seen 3 heat waves this summer. Portland has seen 5 days reach or exceed 90F this month, normally we see 1 or 2 90F degree days in the city during July. Since there were not 3 of those days in a row, Porltand has yet to have an official heat wave.
On Saturday a cold front pushed through the region and ushered in somewhat drier air. This morning, I am blogging from Bridgton where the dew point stands at 62F. When this number exceeds about 60F, you tend to start to feel the moisture in the air. As the number rises and gets closer to 70F, we become more and more uncomfortable.
As today progresses, there will be some humidity in the air and tonight it’s going to feel a bit muggy especially in southern Maine. As the warmer and more humid air moves northward a few showers can occur. There could be a shower today, but they would be light. Generally, today is a day featuring a blend of clouds and sunshine. Temperatures will reach the 70s.
Tomorrow, the boundary between the intense humidity and moderate humidity will be on our doorstep. The exact position of the boundary will determine where the heaviest showers fall. At this time, it looks like southern and central Maine will see a fairly wet day with periods of showers, a passing thunderstorm and temperatures in the upper 60s and lower 70s.
Tuesday night the rain will taper off and skies should partially clear. This will set us up for a better day on Wednesday with more in the way of sunshine, lowering humidity and just the chance of a thunderstorm in the afternoon.
The tail end of the week looks very nice and for the first time since June a string of very dry days is on the way. Temperatures in the afternoon Thursday and Friday will reach the 70s, while overnight lows fall into the 50s. Some inland areas will fall to the 40s on Friday morning.
The weekend should start great with abundant sunshine and highs in the 70s to lower 80s with the coolest temperatures in the mountains and along the shore.
Gardening this week Pests in the garden are a problem for any grower. There are now better and better organic controls for gardeners that allow good control without the harsh chemicals. Check out the video below and see how I am controlling some of the pests in my own garden this year.
I'll be updating the details of the weather on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.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.