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New record high set in Boston

Posted by David Epstein  July 19, 2013 03:13 PM

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Around 2 PM Logan Airport recorded a temperature of 99F which broke the old record of 98 set back in 1982. As of 3PM the temperature had dropped a degree and most likely will not hit 100F this afternoon, although it's not impossible it could go back up.

Cold snaps and heat waves have their peaks and today is the peak of this heat wave. The combination of heat and humidity makes it feel between 100 and 105F across nearly all of central and southern New England right now.
heat warnings.png

I'll be updating the details of the heat and the potential for severe weather tomorrow on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

The humidity is about as high as it can get in New England. At 5:30 this morning, while walking the dogs, I was already schvitzing (Yiddish for sweating) and one of the rat terriers jumped into the pond and went swimming. That breed of dog is not one to typically go for a swim.

When temperatures near the century mark it's time to take notice and this is the case through the evening hours. Temperatures will fall very slowly overnight and it will remain above 90 through sunset. If you are headed to Fenway Park for the game, be sure to drink lots of water. It will be very uncomfortable in the park this evening. Boston's temperature will not fall below 80F for most, if not all the overnight hours.

Tomorrow will be another hot day with highs just above 90F. The big weather news tomorrow will be the possibility of severe weather later in the day. On balance, tomorrow will be a sunny and hot day, perfect for the beach. I think that thunderstorms will start to fire up across the western part of the area during the middle of the afternoon and then move to the coast. The image below shows one model's prediction of the radar tomorrow around 5PM. The actual line of storms may be earlier or later. Once the storms move through, the intense heat wave will finally come to an end.

radar 5 pm tomorrow.png

When we get extreme weather like this I tend to start wishing it to be over. I don't like my mind using that line of thinking, but it seems to be a coping mechanism to deal with temperatures this high. I do the same thing in winter when the highs are around 10F and it's well below zero each morning. (I spent much of January teaching at Colby in Maine)
A the start of the heat wave my mind was already onto Sunday, a day that will be sunny, bright, dry and much cooler. The problem is that by thinking about what lies ahead, I miss what is here. This thought might be a bit Zen for some of you, but indulge me for minute. We, myself included, keep wishing for the "better weather" and the "perfect day" and looking into the future. We do it with holidays, vacations, work projects, and more. On Monday, I found myself hoping for the week to fly by. Life moves fast enough without trying to make it move faster.

I have been consciously working on living more in the moment. During this heat wave I decide to try to change my thinking and enjoy each day in spite of the heat. There are after all, some benefits to all the heat. The high temperatures prevent me from working outside for 14 or 15 hours and allow me the opportunity to get things done inside. Next week, when the weather is nicer, I can take advantage of being outside without the worry of what I am not accomplishing indoors.

I might have taken this idea of enjoying each day to an extreme with a smart phone app. There is an app that lets me count down to a certain date. My app this morning reads 14942, that is the number of days left until I turn 90. It doesn't really seem like that many days, so I better enjoy this one. I hope you do too.

All this heat is taking its toll on us as well as plants and animals. I recommend using the early morning to check the garden. When it gets back into the 90s by mid-morning, it’s going to be harder to work outside. A few suggestions would be to stake up perennials, weed, weed, weed, and notice which areas of the garden still might need some added water.

If you want to plant some new seedlings, there is certainly time to do that. The video below shows how I am growing lettuce in containers right now. I have a tray of seedlings I started two weeks ago which can be place in the ground in about a week.

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.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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