Expect more heat after 7-day heatwave, meteorologist Dave Epstein says – GBH News | Hot Mobile Press

Boston’s seven-day heatwave is likely to end Monday, but the hot weather will remain, GBH meteorologist Dave Epstein said.

After a week of 90 degree days, including a day when temperatures hit 100, this week will cool slightly into the 80’s. Some parts of the region will see thunderstorms, but it won’t be enough to cool things past the mid-80s, he said.

“Not everyone is going to get all the rain, which is not good because we are amplifying the depth of the drought with all the heat and dry weather,” Epstein said. “But many of us are going to see some showers and storms and you could see some roads flooding with heavy rain this afternoon if you get one of those downpours.”

Tuesday and Wednesday will be partly sunny and wet with highs in the mid 80’s and overnight lows in the 60’s. It could climb back into the 90s on Thursday with another chance of showers.

Spending long periods outdoors can be dangerous in the heat, so Epstein said he woke up earlier and took advantage of the slightly cooler 5 or 6 a.m. temperatures to do gardening, walk his dog, and time out to spend outdoors.

“I try to use the end of the light early in the morning and later in the evening to get things done outside,” he said. “And I think that’s what we need to do to adapt. They do that in hotter climates.”

Some other tips for controlling the heat: Covering windows with blinds or curtains can lower a home’s temperature by up to 20 degrees, said Leah Berger, National Grid’s senior program manager for residential weatherization. The utility is part of Mass Save, a coalition of state utilities.

Berger also suggested turning off lights when not in use and keeping device usage to a minimum to conserve energy. And while you should keep your home at a safe temperature, resist the urge to crank up the air conditioning, she said. Even a difference of 1-3 degrees can make a difference in the electricity bill.

The heatwave may have been long, but it was just days away from breaking Boston’s longest-ever heatwave record of nine 9 days. And while temperatures reached 100 degrees, that was slightly lower than the 104-degree record.

“This is the highest temperature ever recorded in July 2011,” Epstein said. “So no, we didn’t set any records. It’s obviously getting warmer as the climate continues to change. But in this weather heatwave we haven’t really set any records.”

Still, temperatures will remain above average, likely through at least the first week of August, Epstein said.

“I am very confident that we will see more 90 degree days here in the next few weeks. We’re not breaking out of this pattern just yet,” Epstein said. “We’re going to see more heat, more humidity, and more of this similar pattern.”

The weekend heat was dangerous, both for people and for some outdoor plants that survived the drought, he said.

Over the weekend, Epstein said he noticed a rhododendron in a sorry state, its leaves drooping and curling inward, trying to guard against further moisture loss.

When conditions get particularly dry, he said, the soil can become hydrophobic, repelling water rather than absorbing it.

“If you have plants that look really droopy, especially anything you’ve planted in the last year, you need to get a hose like a drip hose on it and put it on for a couple of hours, just in a slow trickle. ‘ Epstein said. “Until you can somehow soften and moisturize it, it won’t absorb the water.”

The next time you plant, he said it might be wise to look at drought-tolerant plants. Although current models show that New England will get more rain as the climate warms, the region can also expect more heat waves, and the rain could come in shorter, more intense spurts.

“This heatwave is weather, but as the climate changes, the likelihood of more of these types of heatwaves occurring increases,” he said. “Therefore, the plants have to adapt. … So we have to help them a little bit.”

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