It’s been a warm summer so far in the northeastern US, with above-average temperatures consistently felt in most — if not all — cities in the region. In Albany, New York’s state capital, the city has experienced 41 consecutive days of high temperatures of at least 80 degrees, and that record-breaking streak will likely continue according to our August outlook. For reference, the previous record was a mere 29 days in 1949.
This Wednesday, it will be another hot one for the I-95 corridor as high temperatures surge to around 90 degrees as far north as the Boston area. Boston’s close proximity to the ocean will likely keep temperatures down in the mid to upper 80s for its coastal areas. Once you factor in the humidity with these temperatures, it will feel even warmer, with heat indices approaching 100 degrees. This explains the issuance of Heat Advisories for cities such as Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Meanwhile across the interior, temperatures will be slightly cooler thanks to an incoming cold front, keeping high temperatures around 80 degrees.
Through the end of August, warmer than normal temperatures should persist as well as above-average humidity thanks to a ridge of high pressure that likely stalls over the Southeast just off the coast. The Climate Prediction Center indices at least a 50 percent chance for above-average temperatures across most of the Northeast during both the 6-10 day (August 13-17) and the 8-14 day (August 15-21) periods. This likely indicates that high temperatures will generally remain in the 80s, perhaps into the 90s, over the next couple days.
The EPS model, which is the ensemble mean of the European (ECMWF) model, highlights days of warmth across most of the Northeast through almost the end of August. Sure, a few days here and there may be below-average due to a frontal passage allowing for a brief cool down, but the big story will be the continuation of the heat.
One reason that can explain this persistent warmth is what’s happening in the ocean in terms of convection. This feature, called the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), is basically an area of volatile weather that revolves around Earth’s equator. During the next 20-30 days, the MJO is forecast to transition from phase 7 through phase 8 and reach phase 1 by the end of the month. Typically, these are the warmer phases not only for New England, but much of the central US.
While we’re focusing on the warmth in the Northeast in this article, but we can’t forget about our friends in the Northern Tier of the US, where temperatures are forecast to be above-average as well thanks to an expansive upper-level ridge of high pressure.
If you’re not a fan of the heat, you’ll be happy to hear that it will eventually cool down as we inch closer to fall. However, patience will definitely be needed in these dog days of summer.