Bloomberg News

Thunderstorms May Wash Humidity Out of Air for East Coast

June 22, 2012

A line of thunderstorms is expected to sweep over the cities along Interstate 95 from Washington to New York, breaking the high humidity that made this week’s heat wave so uncomfortable.

Heat advisories and excessive-heat warnings that dominated the Northeast for the past two days are still in effect today from New York to Maryland. Temperatures are expected to pass 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) for a third day, according to the National Weather Service.

The thunderstorms will arrive in Philadelphia after 1 p.m. and New York after 3 p.m., the agency said.

“The thunderstorms will probably be on the strong side, maybe getting into the severe level,” said Tom Kines, expert senior meteorologist for AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. “It’s the I-95 corridor that’s at the most risk - - Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York, maybe not quite up to Boston.”

Heat from Quebec to Virginia pushed electricity prices higher on the spot market as more people turned to air conditioning to get relief. The hot, humid air made temperatures feel like they were in the 100- to 105-degree range.

Temperatures will still be in the mid-80s to 90s after the thunderstorms pass, Kines said. Today’s high in New York is expected to reach 94, matching yesterday’s peak, which was 3 degrees below the record for the date, according to the Weather Service. Boston may reach 93; Philadelphia, 95; Baltimore, 92; and Washington, 93.

In Montreal, which also suffered under high temperatures and humidity, the high is expected to be 82, the same as in Toronto, according to Environment Canada.

Improvement Tomorrow

Kines said the weather should improve tomorrow across the Northeast.

“For the most part, tomorrow isn’t a bad day in the East,” he said. “It’s a cooler day, not necessarily dramatically cooler, but the big thing will be the lower humidity.”

Next week will start with more rain and possibly with temperatures falling below normal across much of the East Coast, Kines said.

Temperatures along the eastern U.S. and Canada are expected to remain seasonal from June 27 to July 6, according 6- to 10- day and 11- to 15-day forecasts from Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.

The central U.S. may be hotter than normal for this time of year, he said. Rogers predicted temperatures from South Dakota to Oklahoma may be about 8 degrees above normal from June 27 to July 1.

From July 2 to July 6, an area from western Washington and Oregon to Montana may be 8 degrees above normal, while other pockets of hot air set up over lower Mississippi and Ohio river valleys.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at bsullivan10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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