It’s been a quiet stretch of weather the last several days, despite the heat and humidity building in.  Boston managed to fall just shy of 90 again today, but many towns north and west of the city didn’t, and combined with high humidity, it certainly felt like mid summer was upon us.

We’ll take another run at 90 tomorrow, with a few storms popping up outside 495 during the afternoon and evening.  A few of these storms could be strong, so we’ll keep an eye on them.  Much of eastern Mass stays dry.

Next, our attention turns toward a cold front that’ll approach from the Midwest.  Our shower and thunderstorm threat increases Thursday, will locally strong storms and downpours possible.  These storms favor hitting towns north and west of Boston, and are more isolated in nature along the coastline.  In fact, we could have a mostly dry day across the South Shore/Cape/Islands aside from a passing shower or storm. 

As that front slowly moves through Thursday night and Friday, more showers and storms are possible, and this is where the forecast gets complicated.  We’ll also have to watch what happens to Tropical Storm Arthur, which likely becomes a hurricane by the time it nears the Outer Banks in North Carolina Friday morning.  Some increase in tropical moisture that gets pulled up the east coast may enhance some of the showers and storms Thursday night and Friday, allowing for locally heavy rain.

Will the Fourth be a washout?  I’d give it another day or so before changing plans based on the forecast.  Some indications are that we try to dry out Friday afternoon and Friday night, but that depends on the exact track of Arthur.  The steering winds point from southwest to northeast, likely allowing the core of this system (the eye), to stay south and east of us.  So the risk of a direct hit here is low, but there is the potential that it could track close enough Friday night to keep rain and an active northeasterly wind around eastern Mass, especially the Cape.  Even if Friday night stays wet across the Cape, which is not etched in stone, this system quickly clears early Saturday, allowing for sunshine and lower humidity for the rest of the weekend.  We’ll watch for higher surf and the risk of rip currents at the shore for the weekend regardless of the exact track of Arthur.  Especially the south and east facing beaches of the Cape and Islands.  Keep this in mind if you’re planning to hit the beach. 

We’ll keep you posted through the week. Stay cool!

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