It shouldn’t be hard to find something to do outdoors on the first full weekend of summer. Sports, festivals, or just relaxing at the beach: The weather will cooperate — for the most part.
The General Forecast For The Weekend: Where The Weather Will Cooperate
The east coast, from New England south to the Carolinas and west to the Appalachians, should be rain-free this weekend, but rain will be approaching from the west Sunday afternoon.
The west coast eastward to the inter-mountain region will also be dry both days, along with south Texas, and including Louisiana on Sunday. The northern plains will be cool and dry behind a cold front, with the fine weather spreading to the upper midwest on Sunday.
Tornado Alley: Where The Weather’s Not Cooperating So Much
Though cold fronts still push down from Canada at this time of year, they cannot completely displace the warm, humid air that’s heading north from the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, the polar vortex, which pressed the jet stream southward all winter, has still not fully retreated to Canada where it belongs.
Unusually strong westerly winds at middle levels of the atmosphere dominate the northern two-thirds of the country. These west winds, after coming over the Rockies, are dry. Humid air topped by dry air is a recipe for large-scale instability, which can result in severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.
This weekend, the zone of maximum instability stretches from northern Texas to Oklahoma, southern Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri — basically tornado alley. Activities in these places could be washed out, though there are always clear areas between the storms.
Outside of the locations with either fair or potentially violent weather, thunderstorms, primarily in the afternoon, will alternate with dry periods in a typical summertime pattern. Mornings are normally clear, but with the sun nearly at its highest point of the year, daytime heating is intense enough to cause local areas of instability and thunderstorms.
Beach And Boating Weather
The east winds which caused rip current warnings along the southeast coast earlier this week have subsided. Beaches on the east coast and Gulf of Mexico should have calm surf; the west coast north of Santa Barbara will be rough. Water temperatures continue to rise, but are still in the 50s from New Jersey north on the Atlantic coast and from Santa Barbara north on the Pacific coast.
Major League Baseball, Saturday
Saint Louis Cardinals @ Toronto Blue Jays
In the battle of the birds, St. Louis sends Mark Buehrle, the majors’ first ten game winner, to the mound. No need to keep the retractable roof of the Rogers Centre (formerly Skydome) closed. Fair with temperature in the 70s.
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Colorado Rockies
Zach Greinke goes after his ninth win for the Dodgers (against only two losses). The game features the hitters with the two highest batting averages in the majors: Troy Tulowitzki of Colorado is hitting .354; the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig is hitting .340. Bring a jacket. A cold front will keep temperatures in the 60s and there is a chance the game will be interrupted by a thunderstorm — but it should be completed.
Baseball Pick of the Day: Boston Red Sox @ Detroit Tigers
Last year’s World Series champions take on the team they eliminated in a memorable playoff series last fall. Boston’s best, Jon Lester, pitches against Max Scherzer, last year’s Cy Young award winner. The game features the American League’s batting average leader, Motor City’s Victor Martinez, who played in Beantown not long ago. Plenty of drama and a perfect day for baseball.
French Open Tennis Tournament, Paris, France
After a couple of gloomy days during the week, the weather will cooperate for the finals of the French Open Tennis Tournament: women’s singles on Saturday and men’s singles on Sunday. Sunny skies with temperatures in the upper 70s should make for a great finish for players and fans.
Horse Racing: The Belmont Stakes
The third leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown will be run at Belmont Park, Elmont, NY on Saturday. There is unusual interest this year because California Chrome is trying to become the first Triple Crown whinnier since 1978.
There’s no need for an Abbott and Costello skit about mudders and fodders; the weather will be perfect — temperature in the 80s and dry.
There are 11 horses in the race, a long (for a horse) mile and a half. There is little to judge whether any particular horse is up for that distance. With the odds on Chrome at 3-5, we’ll take the field.
Far Out Sporting Event Of The Week: Rugby
On Saturday night The USA Eagles host the Scotland Rugby Union in a match at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. The sport is apparently relished by celebrities; you might even catch a glimpse of Victoria Nicks in the crowd. The weather will be warm and muggy and it won’t rain, though the players probably wouldn’t care if it did.
Big Apple Activities
The Weather will be perfect in and around New York City for any outdoor events. Here’s a sampling:
Long Island City Bike Parade, Saturday. The parade of decorated bikes will be led by the Long Island City High School marching band.
Staten Island Irish Fair, Saturday and Sunday. Bagpipes and beer. What could be bad?
Egg Rolls and Egg Cream Festival, lower east side/Chinatown, Sunday. A cross-cultural celebration of Chinese and Jewish food, music, arts, and crafts. Yiddish and egg foo yong?
Ribfest, Chicago, Illinois, Saturday and Sunday
16 bands; 50,000 pounds of ribs. Chow down and kick back with bands like Barrence Whitfield and the Savages. There could be showers both Saturday and Sunday, but altogether two good days for music and munching. Not so good for pigs.
CMA Music Festival, Nashville, Tennessee, Saturday and Sunday
What more is there to say? It’s Nashville. If you can’t find music you like in the great lineup here, you can’t find it anywhere. The weather will be seasonably warm with a chance of a shower, but no amount of rain could dampen the enthusiasm.
Morro Bay Harbor Festival, Morro Bay, California, Saturday and Sunday
Scenery and family fun compete with the music and food at this venue on the Pacific Ocean. Morning clouds give way to bright afternoon sun with temperatures in the cool 60s.
Far Out Festival Of The Week
Amsterdam Open Air 2014, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Saturday and Sunday
This incredibly popular event will take American visitors back to Woodstock. Camping is allowed and, well, you know what else; the Netherlands is still way ahead of Colorado. Unfortunately this year’s event is sold out, so make your plans for 2015. The weather here, as in much of Europe, has been abnormally mild all winter and spring, and the unusual warmth is continuing. Temperatures this weekend will be about ten degrees above average — in the mid 70s — with no rain. Revelers probably won’t notice.