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Although it’s been a dry spring and early summer, meteorologically speaking, the small bit of rain we’ve seen has come on the weekends. While the rain hasn’t lasted very long, even an hour or two can spoil some plans.
This weekend, high pressure is going to remain in control and bring us a weekend without any chance of rain. There are some patterns when small changes in the upper winds can change the forecast, but this weekend I think we’re safe from that.
That likely means abundant sunshine is the only weather we’ll have.
You’ll notice an increase in humidity by Sunday, and this is the precursor for at least a couple of days of heat and humidity early next week. The forecast does become a bit tricky after the weekend, so you should expect some changes.
If you’re celebrating Father’s Day…
Sunday is Dad’s day, and whether you’re letting him play a round of golf or taking him to the beach, the weather will cooperate. Ideal mid-June weather abounds across all of New England for the day we honor Dad.
If you’re going hiking, biking, or running…
Dry weather abounds Saturday, with temperatures in the 70s at the coast and lower 80s inland. After a cool night, the morning will continue to be the best time for performing more strenuous activities. The first few hours after sunrise, you’ll find temperatures in the comfortable 60s. On Sunday there will be a bit more humidity in the air, and afternoon readings in the 80s will be much more common.
If you’re going beaching and boating…
Northshore of Massachusetts, New Hampshire Seacoast, and the coast of Maine: Water temperatures are running below average. The northwest wind has pushed the warmer water out to sea lately and allowed colder water from below to replace it. This means water temperatures are running below average and you should expect a chill if you’re headed for a swim. Tides will be high an hour or two before noon. Look for winds to turn more southerly on Sunday, after being mainly light and onshore on Saturday afternoon.
If you’re playing soccer, softball, baseball, or golf…
Saturday’s forecast: This will be ideal summer weather. With abundant sunshine all day, don’t forget the sunscreen and sunglasses. Fields may have some dew on them early Saturday morning.
Sunday’s outlook: Another stellar day with abundant sunshine. Temperatures in the 80s after 12 p.m will feel quite hot during activities.
If you’re gardening…
The lack of rain continues to be problematic for gardeners. If you’re planting, be sure new plant material and the area you’re planting are both moist. Plants don’t like to be moved in this type of dry weather pattern. You should hold off until fall to move trees, shrubs and perennials.
If you’re running errands…
Both days are equally nice. If I was running indoor errands this weekend I would do it Sunday afternoon during the warmest part of the day, but I don’t like the heat. Since there is no rain in the forecast, unless you do shopping at night, you’ll miss some sunshine.
If you’re going to a professional sporting event, wedding, or outdoor party…
Rain won’t be an issue this weekend. However, with the strength of the sun at the yearly maximum this weekend, hats and sunscreen are the order of the day.
I will be updating the forecast on Twitter @growingwisdom throughout the weekend.
Yesterday was the third day this month Portland has reached or exceeded 90 degrees. While June was comfortable, most days this month have averaged above normal and since the 10th of the month, the afternoons have been particularly warm. Humidity has ebbed and flowed much of the month bringing us cool temperatures for the first couple of hours in the morning.
You might have heard the term “heat dome” several times this summer and while this term is catchy, there’s nothing meteorologically significant about it nor is it official name we would have learned about in weather school. However, it is a great descriptor and does help partially explain why it’s been so hot the past couple of weeks.
There are generally two types of pressure systems, highs and lows. In the low pressure system the air is rising while in the high pressure one, the air sinks. This is the key to the dry weather and heat as sinking air warms and dries.
The image below illustrates how the high pressure system builds heat beneath it. As the air sinks it warms and becomes trapped under the sinking air. Day after day the air gets warmer and warmer and becomes more and more difficult to dislodge. While these types of pressure systems are more common in the center of the country their effects can spread into New England and the all the way to the coast of Maine.
High pressure has been the dominant player in our weather since early June and is why parts of the region are in drought. While not always brining us extreme temperatures, the performance of sinking air is keeping a cap on the atmosphere and thwarting most showers and thunderstorms from being very productive in their rainfall.
Rainfall has been typically sporadic this month with some areas such as the mid-coast seeing adequate rainfall the past week, while greater Portland still is about 40% below average rainfall this month.
Friday brings the opportunity for more widespread showers than we have seen in a while. This won’t be a severe weather day, rather an area of low pressure bringing rain. Just as in winter, the exact track of the storm will determine where the heaviest rain does fall.
The weekend is shaping up to be a nice curtain call to July with a blend of clouds and sunshine along with pleasantly warm temperatures and moderate to low humidity.
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