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Weather

July’s weather has been horrible from the get-go — why?

Low-hanging clouds in Boston obscured parts of Back Bay on Monday.
Low-hanging clouds in Boston obscured parts of Back Bay on Monday.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

As I write this, looking over a very green lawn with grey skies above I’m thinking about how to convey and put in perspective what has been a highly unusual and generally agreed-upon horrible month of weather.

Let’s start with the rainfall, since it is one of the most obvious pieces of this soaking-wet puzzle. We’ve had at least a trace of rain every day this month and when you add it all up, the 8.9 inches of precipitation is the most we’ve ever seen in the first two weeks of July.

Green lawns are perhaps the only good thing about all the rain this month.
Green lawns are perhaps the only good thing about all the rain this month.Tropical Tidbits

If it never rained again the rest of the month, this will have been Boston’s third-wettest month in recorded history. The first 13 days of this month have brought more rain than many areas would see in nearly all the summer months combined.

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All this moisture might be making our lawns look nice but fungus is widely spreading through lots of other plants with mildew on phlox and blights ravaging tomato plants. If we don’t get some dry, breezy weather soon it’s likely there’s going to be crop damage, if it hasn’t already occurred. 

The temperature is running over 4 degrees cooler than it was in June and while half of July is still ahead of us it’s unlikely we’re going to end up with a warmer-than-average month.

A blocking pattern in the Atlantic is keeping New England with unfavorable weather.
A blocking pattern in the Atlantic is keeping New England with unfavorable weather.Tropical Tidbits

The jet stream is kind of clogged up. The speed of the jet stream is generally lighter in summer than it is in the winter, leading to fewer cloudy days and less rain. Summer isn’t the time of year for these persistent patterns. What we are observing is more of a flow from November or April, when blocks in the atmosphere leaving us with low clouds and drizzle for days on end.

The clouds themselves have been relentless. The chart below shows the average cloudiness for any given month and where we stand this July. We’ve seen 240 percent more cloudiness then we would typically have during this one of the least cloudy months of the year.

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The cloud cover this July has far exceeded usual levels.
The cloud cover this July has far exceeded usual levels.Tropical Tidbits

July is prime vacation month. Folks are still in school in June and headed back to school by the end of August so July is really the only month that affords nearly everybody the chance to get away and now half of it has gone down the drain. So when will it end?

Thursday should be hot and humid with more sunshine than we have seen in a while. Friday is also hot and humid with highs near 90, but there is a small risk of a late day or evening thunderstorm. These two days are your best bet to get some beach weather in because the weekend doesn’t look great.

Saturday will see showers returning and it is going to be very humid as well.  Even when it’s not raining it will feel like it should be. Highs will be in the upper 70s to mid-80s.

Rainfall during Saturday, especially in the afternoon could keep it quite wet in southern New England.
Rainfall during Saturday, especially in the afternoon could keep it quite wet in southern New England.Tropical Tidbits

Sunday could end up dry, especially off Cape Cod as the next area of rain stays to the south.  I don’t want to get too excited about a dry weekend day just yet, as in this pattern, wetness tends to keep showing up, even when it doesn’t look right now like it will. 

So hang in there. August is on the way.