So many things to do this weekend – but what will the weather be like, and why?
Long-range forecasts hint at changes in the weather pattern, as an El Niño develops. El Niño is correlated with an opposite weather pattern to what has been in place since last winter.
But for now, what you see is what you get.
The persistent jet stream pattern of high pressure over the eastern Pacific and western United States is complemented by low pressure in the middle of the country. In the past week, the pattern became pronounced, with record cold temperatures from Illinois to Arkansas.
The undulation in the jet stream has relaxed and temperatures in the central US have recovered to just a little below normal, but the waves are still in place.
The conditions that produced violent weather recently — basically a reflection of an active jet stream — have been replaced by ones that are just conducive to normal summer, daytime thunderstorm activity.
The exception will be the Atlantic and Gulf coast, where the thunderstorm activity will be enhanced by the front that brought the record cold temperatures to the middle of the country.
Here are just a few of the available activities and their associated weather: suggestions for what to look for in your area.
Decoded Science’s Major League Baseball Pick Of The Week
Cincinnati Reds @ Miami Marlins will play Sunday, 1:10 p.m.
The struggling Reds send Mike Leake, one of their better pitchers, to the mound. Cincinnati is hoping their injured slugger Joey Votto can return for the stretch drive in September. But if they don’t start playing better now, there won’t be a stretch drive.
The Marlins, who still have a shot at the playoffs, will counter with their best, Henderson Alvarez. The Marlins’ slugger, Giancarlo Stanton (last year he was Mike Stanton), is healthy and slugging.
Weather: What was the scheduler thinking? A day game in Miami in the middle of summer? With temperatures and humidities in the 90s and thunderstorms every afternoon? Oh, right, the stadium has a retractable roof.
National Football League Pre-Season Opener
N.Y. Giants vs. Buffalo Bills in the Hall of Fame Game, scheduled for Canton, Ohio, Sunday, 8 p.m:
If you liked watching medium-sized people occasionally bumping heads or kicking each other in the shins in the World Cup, you must love American football: Behemoths hitting REALLY hard. The game means nothing in the standings, but any football game with a Manning (Eli Manning is the Giants’ quarterback) holds interest. The Giants won a couple of Super Bowls earlier in the century, but missed the playoffs last year. The Bills? They haven’t won anything since, um, well it’s been a long time.
Weather: Pleasant temperatures, but there could be a thunderstorm. The only effect that will have on the game is that the behemoths will make a squishing sound when they collide.
Decoded Science’s Pick For Green Activity
Oregon Beach Cleanup, Saturday:
Sponsored by SOLVE. The organization began as S.O.L.V. (Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism), and now they’ve added an ‘e’ for euphony.
This week’s cleanup is at Seaside, one of Oregon’s most popular beaches. Volunteers are needed, both followers and leaders.
Weather: The fair, dry weather that is causing such trouble with heat, drought, and fire danger over most of the western states is affecting the Oregon coast too, but in a place this close to 55 degree water (wanna take a dip?), the temperature can only get to the low 70s in the daytime.
Music and Food Festivals
You can surely find a music and/or food festival in your area. Here’s just a sampling of the various kinds of music and meals events:
Dillard Bluegrass and Barbecue Festival, Dillard, GA, Friday and Saturday:
This is a little out-of-the-way in upstate Georgia — WAY upstate in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. The scenery’s a lot better than in center city.
Fiddles and Food. Patrons judge a best pork in the county contest, and all proceeds go to charity.
Weather: At an elevation of 2,100 feet, Dillard tends to be about five degrees cooler than cities in the flatlands. The temperature has not gone over ninety this year.
The cold front that brought record cold to the midwest struck Georgia a glancing blow. Temperatures have recovered to near normal (highs in the mid 80s) and there could be a seasonal thunderstorm in the afternoon.
19th Annual Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza, Mammoth Lakes, CA, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday:
You gotta love the name! Blues and brews, with a standout list of performers headed by Buddy Guy.
Weather: Mammoth Lakes is at 8,000 feet in the Sierras. There is a lot of snow in the winter, but it rarely rains in July and August. The temperature reaches the low 80s on average, but drops sharply after sundown, and readings in the 40s are common at night, so bring appropriate clothing.
Since the beginning of winter, all of California has been warmer than normal, thanks to the persistent ridge in the jet stream over the western US, which is part of the pattern that produces cold weather in the eastern states.
14th Annual Satchmo Summerfest, New Orleans, Saturday and Sunday:
Not that anyone needs a special reason to celebrate his music — or visit New Orleans — but Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901. You can’t beat the music OR the food in New Orleans, and I’m starting to wish I were there.
Weather: The cold front that brought record cold temperatures into the deep south never had much effect right along the Gulf coast. Nevertheless, the front is hanging around, and will cause thunderstorms every day. The rain won’t keep the temperature from rising to seasonal levels in the afternoon — around 90.
Asagao-ten, Tokyo, Japan, Saturday and Sunday:
The following is from the planners of this event: “Asagao-ten, an exhibition of potted morning glories is held near the tennis courts in Hibiya Park, Chiyoda-ku, from 7 a.m. daily. Morning glories are in bloom usually in the morning.” Who woulda guessed?
Weather: Tokyo has been in the grip of a heat wave which has killed at least 15 people and sent 8,000 to the hospital. Temperatures surpassed 94 degrees for four days last weekend before cooling to the mid-80s during the week.
This year’s heat wave is not yet as bad as last year’s — the worst on record — but the heat has returned, and temperatures will challenge the century mark before the weather breaks in mid-August.
Far Out Participation Activities Of The Week
Surfing In Hawaii, all weekend:
Grab your board and hang ten, or just go along with a friend. Any south-facing beach will have great waves this weekend, as the remains of tropical storm Genevieve pass well to the south.
Weather: Perfect. As usual.
K.C. Catfish Tournament, Brunswick, Mo., Saturday, 7 p.m. to Sunday, 8 a.m:
You read it right. This is an overnight, 13-hour catfish-catching tournament on the Missouri River, about 100 miles upstream from Kansas City. Why would anyone lose sleep to catch catfish? Well, some people might like it. And some people might like the $5000 first prize.
Weather: A clear night with low temperature in the 60s. The golden quarter moon casts a magical glow across the gently-flowing stream as the breeze caresses the trees with a whisper of a kiss. Who says catfishing can’t be romantic?
Like We Said
So many things to do. What’s going on and what’s the weather like where you are?