Sunday August 25, 2013 | 11:29 AM
Posted by David Epstein

Vacationland is living up to its name this week with thousands of people visiting our great state of Maine.  The weather has been cooperating and on balance will be quite nice through Labor Day.  We do have some changes this week with a couple of shots of rain, but not enough to alleviate our short-term dry spell.

Changes will take the form of clouds, some showers and an increase in humidity much of the week.  Our levels of humidity and heat won’t reach what we saw in July, but you will need to turn on the air conditioning once again if you want to keep the house dry.
I hate using the air conditioner for two reasons.  First, electricity is so expense. My electric bill in July was close to $100.00 higher than any other month before.   Second, I don’t like the way the air feels inside the house.  I love fresh air, not recirculated artificially cool air.  Nonetheless I can’t sleep when it’s muggy, my cereal sticks together and the bread gets moldy very quickly.  In general, I just find I can’t get as much accomplished when it’s very humid.
Check out the map below showing just how hot the air will be to our west to start the week.  Because of the flow of the jet stream the core of any of this heat will stay out there for the upcoming week.   There will be disturbances in the atmosphere riding this boundary.  This means the chance for showers and even thunderstorms starting tomorrow morning and continuing on and off into Wednesday.
The heat wave that is building in the plains states will last much of the week.  That area of the country has been abnormally cool much of the summer and unlike 2012, they have not endured a record breaking summer of heat.
Even though we are in the waning weeks of summer, it’s still uncommon to have an entire day of clouds and rain (unless we see a tropical system).  The reason I mention this is for those of you on vacation this week it’s not going to be a three-day washout.  While it’s certainly not going to be bright and beautiful Monday through Wednesday, there will be periods of sunshine.  The highest risk of showers comes Monday and Wednesday with more isolated type rainfall Tuesday.
Labor Day Weekend
Several communities in southern Maine will already have returned to school before Labor Day, that holiday still marks the unofficial end to summer.   Meteorologically, summer actually ends on August 31st, (the end of the warmest 90 days of the year) while astronomically summer ends on the 21stof September (when the sun crosses the equator).
Saturday and Sunday of the upcoming weekend look tremendous with sunshine and comfortable levels of humidity and heat.  I think that we will see some heat and humidity return to the area around Monday or Tuesday.  While we will close August without a single 90 degree day, a few towns could have one or two of them to start September.
The second week of September marks the average peak of tropical activity.   To date the 2013 season has been very quiet.  One of the many reasons for the lack of hurricanes has been an overabundance of dry air over the Atlantic basin. (dry air impedes hurricane formation)  Computer models have been predicting this dry air to erode away later next week for quite some time.  If this were to occur as predicted a subsequent increase in tropical activity is likely.  This doesn’t mean a storm is going to hit us, it just means we will have more systems to watch.

Gardening this week Tomatoes have been slow to mature this month. I believe the heat of July stunted the formation of fruit and this is one reason we are seeing fewer tomatoes than expected. In this video below, shot on my own camera, I show you what was going on with my own garden a few weeks ago. Not much has changed although I have been able to make a few jars of sauce. 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.

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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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