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Summer heat is here — in September

A hot stretch is unfolding for New England, atypical for early September but certainly not unheard of. In fact, early September heat like this has not only been done before, but exceeded – Boston, for instance, is likely to fall shy of records each day this week, even as temperatures near or exceed 90 degrees. 

Nonetheless, the humidity of dew point temperatures climbing through the 60s to near 70 coupled with afternoon high temperatures 85 to 90 at the coast where a sea breeze kicks up and 90 plus inland, will combine for heat index values – “feels like temperatures” – in the lower to middle 90s most of this week. For this reason, hydration is a big key for New Englanders, not only for those who will work and play outdoors, but also for kids and teachers in classrooms devoid of air conditioning, then in some cases, out onto the playing field for sports afterschool.

A conversation with kids also may not be a bad idea regarding favorite swimming spots that, post Labor Day, no longer are protected by lifeguards. This becomes especially pertinent at our ocean-facing beaches, where a two to three foot swell isn’t that big, but with an 11 to 13 second period, each wave emanating from an offshore storm packs enough power for rip currents Tuesday and, in a few spots, into Wednesday. Sea breezes that cap warming at the coast Tuesday and Wednesday will be weaker Thursday and Friday, so our overall heat and humidity for New England will tend to peak those two days, with isolated afternoon to evening thunder possible either day. 

A slow-moving cold front approaches this weekend, increasing the number of showers and thunderstorms for scattered Saturday storms, then more numerous storms Sunday with the passage of the cold front. At this point, it’s early to pin down any spots of heavy rain or potential severe weather, though that is a possibility, especially in northern and western New England where showers and thunder Friday and Saturday will be a bit more numerous, then perhaps for much of New England Sunday.

Behind the cold front, next week’s brand new air makes the second half of the exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast look (and feel!) much different than the first half, with high temperatures near or cooler than normal!  There are signs a southerly wind may kick up again at the end of next week into next weekend, which would briefly open the door to the Tropical Atlantic and any storms off the Bahamas – it looks like there will be a storm in the western Atlantic at that point and likely it will be a hurricane, but the timing and placement, at this very early juncture, isn’t one that has us overly concerned — just aware and carefully watching in case the pattern timing should change.

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