Thursday, April 24, 2014
While there could be a pop-up shower this afternoon, sunshine is the main element of the forecast with warm temperatures. If you have some time to cut out of work early it will be a nice evening to get in a round of golf, take a walk on the beach or just sit on the back porch with your favorite beverage.
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.
A cold front is slipping past the area today and while the air behind this front isn't really that cool, temperatures will trend downward as we head into the weekend.
Although we had a very hot July, August, at least to start, is looking typically warm to seasonably cool. Temperatures during the first half of August range from the mid 70s to mid 80s. Anything out of that range would be the exception, not the rule. I am not a fan of the average temperature because that one number is derived from the highly variable daily highs from previous years. I find it more useful to look at the overall range of temperatures the past few decades for a given date. This is why a temperature of 75 or 81 is well within what we would expect this first week of August.
As the jet stream continues to dip across the country, pieces of Canadian air will infiltrate the country and keep the extreme heat well to the south. Places like Dallas, Texas will be close to or over 100F the next week, but all of that heat will remain nearly a thousand miles away from New England.
One question that could be on your mind is will there be any more heat this summer? I took a loop at the European model’s prediction for the next 30 days this morning. What is very noticeable is the lack of any heat from now through the end of the month across the eastern third of the country. This of course doesn’t mean any days in the 80s or even near 90F, but the current pattern is not conducive to any extended periods of heat. It would not be unprecedented to have zero ninety degree days in August. What would be funny if that happened is that the number for the summer would then end up pretty close to typical.
It’s been very cold across the arctic regions of the world this summer. By some accounts this has been the coldest summer for the North Pole in over 50 years. While it may have been a cool July to the north it was anything but cool around here. All of New England had a very hot month. Here in Portland this was the 7th warmest July on record. What were remarkable about this month were the overnight temperatures. In Portland the average low of 63.4 degrees was the warmest of any month since records.
Below you can find some statistics from the National Weather Service folk in Gray. There is more data on their web site, http://www.erh.noaa.gov/gyx
I know many of you still don’t have air conditioning in your homes. If you look at overnight temperatures for July, five of the top 7 have occurred since 1999. Clearly we are in a warm cycle and there is no reason this will break anytime soon. It might be time to rethink your idea we don’t need air conditioning in Maine.
In southern New England the cities of Providence and Harford had their warmest months on record. In Boston this was the 5th warmest July on record and the third warmest at Blue Hill Observatory in Milton.
Gardening this week If you have a sunny spot and a good size container, how about planting carrots? Carrots can be successfully grown in containers and you will be surprised how many you will get. One of the most important things is to not over water the soil. Check out the video below showing how I recently planted a container of carrots. 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.
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.