Summer is in full swing, with festivals and sporting events everywhere. What’s going on this weekend, as far as the weather?
United States Weather Pattern Unchanging
The general weather pattern over the United States just won’t change: persistent high pressure along the west coast with complementary low pressure in the center of the country.
The lifting of the air caused by the low pressure has combined with a warm, humid flow from the Gulf of Mexico to create several outbreaks of tornadic activity.
Saturated air near the surface with an overlying flow of dry air at mid-levels creates an unstable situation in which any lifting causes general turbulence. Thunderstorms are the first result, and if the wind direction turns with height, tornadoes can form.
This Weekend: Tornadoes, Drought, and Rain
This weekend there could be severe weather in the hard-hit heartland, from Kansas to Ohio on Saturday and extending to the mid-Atlantic Sunday. Elsewhere typical summer showers will be the rule, except in the drought areas of the west and Texas, where high pressure causes subsidence, a gentle downward flow of air. Rain requires lifting in order to bring the air to saturation; cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm, and the temperature decreases with height.
The UK and Europe will continue to have above normal temperatures, but the southerly winds that bring the warm air also bring moisture and an increased chance of showers.
Here’s a selection of activity options. There will be plenty to do in your neighborhood — or you can just go to the beach.
For Spectators And Couch Potatoes: Major League Baseball Picks Of The Week
San Diego Padres @ Atlanta Braves, Saturday, 7:05 p.m.
In his five starts, the Padres’ rookie sensation Odrisamer Despaigne has an earned run average (era) of 1.31 and a whip (walks + hits per inning pitched) under one. The Braves counter with Julio Teheran (9-6, 2.64 era).
The Padres are one of the worst teams in baseball, and are probably looking hopefully towards next season with young players like Despaigne. The Braves have fallen two games behind Washington in the National League east division, and are in danger of missing the playoffs.
Weather: Typical for the time of year. Warm, but not hot, with a chance of thunderstorms. Even if there is a rain delay, the game should be completed.
Washington Nationals @ Cincinnati Reds, Sunday, 1:10 p.m.
Doug Fister pitches for the Nats. The Detroit Tigers, who let Fister go via free agency last winter, sorely miss his 9-2 record. Fister goes against Matt Latos for the Reds. Latos was 27-11 the last two seasons, but has only made seven starts this year due to injuries. He appears healthy now.
Washington leads the National League east, while Cincinnati, missing their best hitter Joey Votto, is struggling to make the playoffs.
Weather: A strong cold front will be pushing through with thunderstorms, but the game should be played.
For Music Lovers:
Jerry Jam 2014, Bath, NH, Through Sunday
Deadheads twirl on up to the New Hampshire hills for this celebration of the Music of the Grateful Dead. Camping is included in admission.
Weather: Seasonable temperatures in the low 80s in the daytime to upper 50s at night. A shower is possible on Sunday.
For Spectators Only:
Powerboat Nationals, Huntington, West Virginia, Saturday and Sunday
If you like to see boats go fast — I mean REALLY fast — this is the event for you. SSE-120 class boats reach speeds over 140 miles per hour. Hey, who needs to be in a hurricane? Just stand up in one of those.
Weather: Warm Saturday, cooler Sunday as a front comes through. If there’s a thunderstorm, it will really feel like a hurricane in the speeding boats.
Hawaii Dragon Boat Festival 5th Annual 4-Person Grass Volleyball Tournament, Honolulu, Saturday
Tell me you don’t want an excuse to go to Hawaii. Just get 3 friends and start thumbing. Ok, so they haven’t put in the bridge yet, but really, wouldn’t you love to go? Make your plans for next year.
Weather: The rains from tropical Storm Wali have departed and it’s back to normal — high 80s in the daytime.
Hawaii gets very little rain except when there’s an errant tropical system. There’s some rain on the windward sides of the islands, especially where the wind hits the mountains — there’s even a tropical rain forest on Maui. But on the lee sides of the islands it almost never rains. The airport at Kona, also on Maui, doesn’t even have the baggage claim area covered.
Far Out Festival Of The Week
Hua Hin Jazz Festival, Hua Hin, Thailand, Saturday
Weather: A weatherman couldn’t go wrong forecasting hot and humid weather in July in a place at 12 degrees north latitude with the Gulf of Thailand on one side and the Andaman Sea on the other. But it’s not as hot as you might expect, because there is a weak monsoon that sets in by mid-June.
Naturally this means there’s likely to be rain: It rains on more than half the days in July. But the rain is showery and only totals a little over three inches for the month — about the same amount falls in Boston, Chicago, or London. The clouds keep the temperature around 90 in the daytime.
This event, like many others in Thailand, was threatened by political instability, but things have now calmed down a bit and the festival will be held.
Far Out Participation Sport Of The Week
WA 4 Way League Skydiving Competition, York, Australia, Saturday
You don’t have to have a team to enter — organizers will place you with a team.
Weather: It’s the dead of winter Down Under. York is at 31 degrees latitude, generally in the zone of the world’s deserts, but during the winter the jet stream dips northward (remember, everything is reversed in the southern hemisphere) and brings storms off the Indian Ocean.
The area (Perth is about 50 miles away) is experienceing a particularly tranquil period, with a benign jet stream producing fair weather day after day in a place where it normally rains two out of every three days at this time of year.
Temperatures at the ground will be in the 60s, but probably quite chilly at jumping-out-of-the-plane height — about ten thousand feet.
There’s Plenty To Do This Weekend
Whatever you do, have a great, safe weekend. If nothing else, just sit and watch the weather — it’s always interesting. What’s it like where you are?