Boston reached 94 degrees on Tuesday, the 11th time this year temperatures have climbed above 90 degrees and the 15th day it’s reached 88 degrees or higher. That number is going to continue to grow into early next week as another heat wave envelopes Southern New England. If you are on the outer tip of Cape Ann or Cape Cod, or heading to the coast of Maine temperatures will not be as hot. Several afternoons through early next week will stay in the 80s, and possibly the 70s further north.
But for the rest of us, it’s another prolonged heat wave ahead.
High pressure off the mid-Atlantic coast will continue to pump hot and humid air into the region. We could see some record-high temperatures for Thursday and perhaps even Friday.Temperatures at times on Thursday afternoon will feel between 100 and 104 degrees when you factor in the actual temperature and the humidity.
Scientists expect this kind of heat to become more common at the climate crisis progresses. From 1971 to 2000, the average summer in Massachusetts saw four days over 90 degrees. By mid-century, climate scientists say the state may have 10-28 days over 90 degrees each year. By the end of the century, Massachusetts could experience between 13 and 56 days of extreme heat each summer, depending on what steps are taken now to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
It goes without saying that all of this heat creates more stress on everything from people to our pets to the plants we see outside. For the latter, I continue to recommend slow drip irrigation using a hose on trees and shrubs that are exhibiting signs of drought damage. This includes drooping leaves and loss of leaves. I suppose it goes without saying, but pets cannot be left in cars for any amount of time. In this type of weather, the pavement and other surfaces can be high enough to burn the pads of dogs and cats. I often hose down the trek material before letting our dog out in this pattern.
There may be a few showers and thunderstorms for some of us on Friday afternoon and evening. As we’ve seen this summer, rainfall has been minimal in one of the driest growing seasons on record. Nevertheless, if you get a shower or thunderstorm it could be accompanied by heavy downpours.
It’ll be a little less hot on Saturday but still way above average, likely within a few degrees of 90. Sunday will be back into the lower 90s and that continues Monday and perhaps even Tuesday. When all is said and done, we will probably add six more days with 90-degree temperatures to the growing list.
The heat pattern does show some signs of breaking down in the middle of the month. However, it’s a cautionary tale. The prediction of cooler and wetter weather a week or more from now could certainly change.