Articles by Vince Agard
September 23, 2014
Sunshine and light winds are expected to continue this week as strong high pressure is poised to dominate the northeastern United States. A broad high pressure system currently centered over the Ohio Valley will merge today with a secondary high currently located over eastern Canada. The combined high will move over New England tomorrow, bringing clear skies and calm winds to the region. Light southwesterly flow may prevent a sea breeze from developing this afternoon, keeping temperatures a few degrees warmer than they will be tomorrow. A coastal storm will have a chance of glancing the Massachusetts coastline on Thursday, but current indications do not appear favorable for the storm to make it this far north.
September 19, 2014
The last weekend of astronomical summer will be a pleasant one, as a high pressure system moves into place over the northeastern United States. Today will be a bit chillier than normal, as a sea breeze develops in the afternoon, bringing cooler air from over Massachusetts Bay, where sea surface temperatures are currently around 60°F (16°C). Tonight will be especially chilly, as clear skies and calm winds allow the land surface to efficiently radiate heat away, bringing temperatures down to the middle 40s (°F) early tomorrow morning. However, winds will shift to be from the south tomorrow as the high pressure begins to lift and a cold front approaches from the west. These southerly winds will bring warmer air up to New England, raising the temperature to near 70°F (21°C) tomorrow, and several degrees higher than that on Sunday. Expect a chance of showers on Sunday night, and temperatures returning to the 60s (°F) in its wake at the beginning of next week.
September 9, 2014
The beginning of September has seen abnormally scorching temperatures at the Institute this year. Three days above 90°F (32°C) have contributed to September being the warmest month of the year so far in Boston. However, the cold front that sent a series of severe thunderstorms over Massachusetts on Saturday afternoon also ushered in a regime of more seasonable weather, and the observed high and low temperatures on each of the last two days have each been within 4°F of their climatological normals.
September 5, 2014
Although Labor Day has come and gone and the fall semester has begun, summer is still in full swing at the Institute. This past Tuesday’s high temperature of 93°F (34°C) was the hottest temperature of the year so far in Boston. Strengthening offshore flow in advance of an approaching cold front will cause temperatures to flirt with the 90-degree mark once again today and tomorrow. The best chance for heat will come tomorrow afternoon, right before the cold front passes through. As the front arrives, expect thunderstorms to develop and move across New England tomorrow afternoon and evening. There is a chance that some of these storms could produce hail and/or damaging winds.
September 2, 2014
A series of above-normal temperatures is expected this week, as summer-like weather rolls on into September. Warm temperatures will be encouraged today by a southerly breeze ahead of a cold front currently approaching from our west. These winds will bring warmer air up from the south, although slightly cooler ocean temperatures will prevent the mercury from climbing too high this afternoon. The aforementioned cold front will pass through overnight, bringing with it a band of showers and thunderstorms. After the frontal passage, skies will clear, and winds will shift to be from the north and west. This offshore flow will allow the temperature to climb once again tomorrow, with highs reaching the mid-80s (°F).
August 26, 2014
Tropical Storm Cristobal formed on Sunday in the Atlantic Ocean, just to the northwest of the Bahamas. Cristobal is the third named tropical cyclone of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, and like Hurricanes Arthur and Bertha before it, Cristobal is forecast to attain hurricane strength later this week. Although the storm is forecast to become a hurricane, it will not pose a threat to the United States, as strong mid-level westerly winds are forecast to sweep the storm out to sea.
August 22, 2014
As summer comes to a close, the second half of August has been a bit cooler than usual so far at the Institute. While normal high temperatures for this time of year are around 80°F (27°C), temperatures observed at Logan Airport in Boston have not exceeded 80°F since Aug. 17. This trend of cool weather will continue into the weekend, as a weak low pressure system passes over New England. This system will bring cloudy skies, scattered rain showers, and a steady easterly breeze, which will blow cooler ocean air over the the coastal land region.
August 6, 2014
Tropical Storm Bertha is forecast to pass roughly 250 miles (400 km) off the coast of New England today, but its effects will barely be noticeable here at the Institute. The second named tropical cyclone of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, Bertha briefly attained hurricane status on Monday. Prior to that, the storm impacted the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. However, the storm’s path has since shifted to the north and east, and it is expected to go out to sea without having any significant impact on the mainland United States.
June 13, 2014
The Institute will get wet today as a storm system that caused wind damage in several locations in the Mid-Atlantic moves northward over our region. Rain showers will move through the area throughout this morning and this afternoon, bringing with them the occasional heavy downpour, gusty wind, or rumble of thunder. Fortunately, these storms have weakened since striking the Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday, so significant damage or dangerous conditions are not expected. In all, less than an inch of rain should accumulate today — a much more manageable amount than was received on this day in 1998, when intense storms drenched eastern Massachusetts in over 5 inches of rain, and caused over 5 million dollars in property damage.
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May 9, 2014
The last weekend of spring semester will get off to a rainy start. A frontal system will pass through the area today and tomorrow, bringing the possibility of rain showers, and even the occasional thunderstorm. Today, in advance of the system, onshore winds will combine with cloud cover to keep temperatures in check. However, a warm front will pass through the area overnight, leading to considerably warmer temperatures during the day on Saturday.