July Fourth 2011- Fire & Ice

The United States of America celebrates 235 years of independence under an extreme summer weather pattern. Records are being set for heat . . . and for and deep snow. Four ski areas are open, thanks to the snowiest winter in more than a decade. One of the ski areas is Arapahoe (shown above today, Sunday July 3, 2011) in Colorado. Down the Interstate from Arapahoe in Denver, the temperature reached 95° today. Plenty hot, but not as hot as it was on July 3, 1874, when the record of 101° was set. Here in the East, temperatures have been hot, too. Detroit MI reached 99° on July 2, breaking the record of 98° set 100 years ago.

How can it be 99° in Detroit while Boston is only 75°? An upper level low just east of Cape Cod steered upper winds from the north, stalling a warm front to our west. The warm front washed out today. A few showers came through, but nowhere near the amount of rain we have been seeing lately, and which the area to our west continued to receive. The storm that dragged heat across the country sailed north to Hudson Bay, where it's nearly cold enough for snow tonight, and the low east of Cape Cod is finally lifting away into the North Atlantic tonight. So this will mean a west wind for our July 4th, with lower humidity and higher temperatures.

For the first time in months, we have no closed low near the East Coast or North Atlantic. That means a more classic west-to-east flow, with a warmup for New England. A series of fast-moving short waves will race from the Pacific to the Atlantic across southern Canada this week. Usually that means a warm and dry pattern, with a thunderstorm every other day or so. But we have to keep an eye on the tropics.

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