Summer weather is arriving this weekend, whether you’re ready for it or not.
I like to think of May as the lead in to summer. In the same way November often brings a taste of winter, May can become quite hot and even humid well before you might expect. This weekend many of us are going to get that taste of hot weather along with an increase in humidity.
For many it’s just too early for this, but a quick look at the records shows that as recently as 2017 it was 95 degrees on May 18th — one of the hottest early bouts of heat on record.
I don’t expect we’re going to be quite that warm this weekend, although some of you will get to the 90 degree mark, perhaps on Saturday and again on Sunday.
A strong area of high pressure off the Atlantic seaboard continues to bring a southwesterly flow of air into the region. Because the ocean waters are still so cool, even a southwest flow of air will prevent some of the suburbs around Boston from reaching 90.
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The most likely spot for the hottest weather this weekend will be north of the Mass. Pike around the Route 128 belt and into Southern New Hampshire. That heat zone often extends into the western parts of Cumberland and York counties in Maine. You can see this pattern pretty clearly on the map of predicted highs for Sunday below.
There’s a second area in southern New England where it often gets warmer than other spots, and this is around the Connecticut River Valley where air can be forced downward towards the lower elevation, heating it even more.
With all this building heat there’s a small chance of a pop-up shower or thunderstorm in isolated locations Saturday and Sunday. The odds that you see a shower are small but if you do, it could end up being a gusty thunderstorm that doesn’t last very long. There will be more cloudiness on Saturday and more sunshine on Sunday. It’s that sunshine that will help fuel the chance for storms. Sunday is a better beach day because of the fewer clouds.
A more significant frontal system will cross the area late Sunday night and early Monday. This will push the hot and humid air south and return our temperatures to more reasonable levels for a couple of days. In the middle of next week we will once again approach or exceed 90 — this won’t last long as Wednesday’s heat is shunted out to sea for a cooler and more seasonable start to the Memorial Day weekend.
Finally, it seems like the early start to summer isn’t just relegated to New England. There’s already an area of tropical weather that forecasters believe will become tropical storm Ana soon. It seems like the idea of officially starting hurricane season in mid-May might be a sound one, at least this year.