There have been and will continue to be a lot of clouds around this weekend. The good news is that some of them actually contain some rain. And we need the rain!
When the latest drought monitor was issued by NOAA and the USDA on Thursday, parts of northeast Massachusetts were upgraded to “severe drought” status. That prompted the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to issue “drought watches” and “drought advisories” for much of MA on Friday. Different federal and state agencies have different definitions of “drought,” but the bottom-line is that Boston is about 4.5″ below normal for the year and Worcester is about 6.5″ below normal for the year.
On Saturday, it was cloudy, but not all that rainy. As Jeremy explained in his blog the other night, cool air is like “kryptonite” for thunderstorms. Average high temperatures for early July would be in the low 80s. Most of us didn’t get out of the mid 60s on Saturday. Consequently, strong storms that formed in New York fell apart as they tried to move east. That changed Saturday night. As the center of the big parent storm system responsible for this dreary weather moved east from the Great Lakes over Southern New England, it provided enough energy to get some heavier showers and even a few thunderstorms going in eastern MA, even with the unusually cool air in place. Some spots picked up around 3/4″ of rain in less than an hour!
The chance for showers tapers off Sunday as the parent storm system moves into the ocean. So, Sunday will be similar to Saturday…cloudy but not that rainy. Clouds remain for Sunday night and linger into Monday. As if returning to work isn’t bad enough, it will likely be cloudy and dreary with areas of dense fog Monday morning. Sunshine finally returns Monday afternoon.
Speaking of the cool air, the other advantage to the cloudy skies and onshore winds this weekend is that it gives us a break from the heat!! We were one of the few areas of the country that did NOT get into the 90s on Saturday. In case you missed it, NOAA also released their monthly temperature analysis on Thursday and the report showed that June was the hottest on record for the US, beating the previous record set during part of the dust bowl era in June of 1933.
Believe me, by the end of this week, you will be glad that you had a respite from the 90s this weekend! It will be hot and humid with high temps in the low 90s and heat index values in the mid to upper 90s for Wed, Thu and Fri! The heat and humidity may fuel some afternoon pop-up thunderstorms, especially late on Friday.