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Intense Heat Returns to New England; Thunderstorms Return Friday

After full-on summer weather went on hiatus in June, it has returned to New England thanks to a shift in the overall pattern. It should be emphasized that this is more of a temporary shift in the pattern and not so much a full pattern change.

A ridge of high pressure has shifted east, allowing New England to get back into intense heat just long enough for some interior locations to potentially experience their first heat wave of the season (which is 3 consecutive days with a high temperature at 90 or above).


This heat will likely peak on Thursday with the most widespread 90s possible. Even areas that don't quite make 90 will be well into the 80s, with the exception being at the coast.

Cities that hit 90 on Wednesday are officially on heat wave watch. Areas that did not hit 90 yesterday are extremely unlikely to see a heat wave this time around as Saturday temperatures, in all likelihood, will not threaten to top 90 degrees. Locations on heat wave watch include Nashua, NH; Manchester, NH; Springfield, MA and Hartford, CT. These cities all will very likely hit 90 today and possibly tomorrow (Friday is not nearly as locked in for 90).

Whether or not 90 is achieved is more of a technicality. With elevated humidity, feels like temperatures will be well into the 90s for most of the region. Interior southern New England, the valleys of Vermont, southern and central New Hampshire and interior southern Maine will likely see heat index values at or even over 95 degrees regardless of if the temperature pushes to 90 or tops out in the upper 80s.

A prominent sea breeze will keep the coast cooler, especially into northern New England. The sea breeze in southern New England will be kept primarily at the immediate coast, but, thanks to a southerly flow, it will be able to push a bit further inland across Maine.


A cold front will begin pushing through the region on Friday. This front will touch off thunderstorms across northern areas. The storms will break out across northern Vermont during mid to late morning. This timing is what will likely prevent Burlington from reaching heat wave status as storms will keep the temperature from reaching 90.

This front will be moving rather slowly. This will lead to the potential for storm training and potential flash flooding in the areas in dark green above, although this overall threat is rather low and will be localized. Some storms could be strong in nature with gusty winds and small hail.

Thunderstorm chances decrease the further south and east you go in the region, thanks to the slow moving nature of the front. Areas south of the more widespread storms will again heat up to the upper 80s to low 90s once again.


New England will return to the overall unsettled pattern for the weekend. As has been the case (for the most part) lately, no day is looking washed out, but clouds will be increased once again with showers and downpours possible, especially in the afternoon and evening hours. Temperatures will also cool down, but in this case, cooled down just means back to average. At this time, Sunday looks to feature more widespread showers and downpours, but again, an all day washout is unlikely at this time. The best chance for heavy downpours will be north and west.

The area of low pressure will likely stall near New England, leading to continued clouds and showers through the middle of next week (i.e. welcome back to the overall pattern after this brief shift). Another pattern shift may allow drier weather and warmer temperatures to return mid to late next week. As of now, it looks like New England may be on the edge of a ridge over eastern Canada and a trough in the center part of the country. Being a week out, and the fact we're right on the edge of this shift, plenty can change, so stay tuned.



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