Sunday will be the first day of meteorological summer (June, July, August). The weekend will be summer-like in most places, though the water is slow to warm up in the North Atlantic and Great Lakes after the cold winter.
A slow-moving low pressure center will bring heavy downpours to the deep south and plains.
Outdoor Activities: The General Outlook
What will the weather be like where you are?
- Dry weather for sure: All of the west coast including the western portions of Washington and Oregon and all of California will avoid precipitation. All of Arizona and most of New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah, plus the western half of Texas will most-likely remain dry as well. In the Eastern Great Lakes and Midwest, eastward to the mid-Atlantic and New England, there’s little chance of any showers – with the possible exception of some rain along the northeast coast on Saturday, and rain moving into the midwest on Sunday.
- Bring an umbrella and hope for the best: These areas could be in for some showers: Peninsula Florida, Georgia, Iowa, eastern Texas, Idaho, Colorado, and Wyoming.
- Possibly a washout: The deep south and central plains can expect some significant downpours.
Beach Conditions And Water Temperatures
Beaches from the Delmarva peninsula southward on the east coast, and all of the Gulf of Mexico, report water temperatures from the upper 60s to the low 80s — warm enough to swim comfortably without a wet suit. North of Delmarva, water temperatures are still in the frigid fifties, and even in the forties on the Maine coast.
These temperatures are for the open ocean; protected, shallow beaches can be considerably warmer, especially in the afternoon. On the other hand, a stiff offshore breeze (blowing from land to water) can bring in colder water from deeper regions along exposed shores.
On the Great Lakes, the brutal winter of 2014 has left its legacy: cold water. In fact, last weekend there was still ice on Lake Superior, and judging by the water temperatures reported in the middle of the lake, there may still be some mini-icebergs. Shallower spots in Lakes Ontario and Erie could have swimmable conditions, but again, the wind can be critical to the water temperature. Generally an onshore wind (blowing from water to land) blows in warm surface water, while an offshore wind causes upwelling of colder, deeper waters.
Both Atlantic and Pacific coasts and most of the Great Lakes region should have suitable sunning weather (WEAR SUNSCREEN). Along the south Atlantic, thunderstorms are possible at any time, and the northern Gulf will continue to be rainy.
Boating Conditions and Wind
Winds along the entire Atlantic coast will be light to moderate, with the only exceptions some strong gusts near thunderstorms. The northern Gulf coast may have strong enough winds to keep small boats in port or protected waters. And on the west coast, strong winds offshore will rile up the water everywhere except in the extreme south of California.
Keep in mind that the temperature of the air tends to be close to the water temperature if you venture more than a few miles from shore. Anyone going on a whale watch out of Boston or Cape Cod should dress for air temperatures in the 50s and 60s. Nothing spoils a picture of a breaching whale like shivering while you’re holding the camera.
Major League Baseball Weather
If you’re heading out to watch your Olde Towne Team, here are some of the highlight games, and the weather you can expect:
Yankee Stadium, New York: Saturday Masahiro Tanaka, the Japanese sensation for whom the Yankees paid many yen, will take the mound with a 7-1 record. I’m not sure how many yen that is per victory, but by the pay standards of today’s pitchers, I’m sure it was a bargain. On Sunday, former Yankee Phil Hughes will face his old team. The storm offshore could produce some showers, especially on Saturday, but the games will go on.
Busch Stadium, St. Louis: Four of the National League’s best pitchers duel this weekend. San Francisco’s Matt Cain and St. Louis’s Michael Wacha match up Saturday; Sunday, it’s Tim Hudson and Lance Lynn. There could be a brief shower or thunderstorm each day, and a rain delay is possible, but nothing to dampen the competition — or the enthusiasm of the Cardinals’ fans.
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles. Saturday night the Dodgers will have Hun-Jin Ryu on the mound. He recently lost a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning. No weather problems here.
Festivals Around The US
Hog Wild BBQ Competition and Family Festival, Brookhaven, Mississippi. Chow down but bring a raincoat; it could rain at any time, and a heavy thunderstorm is possible.
Healdsburg Jazz Festival, Healdsburg, California, featuring blues legend Charlie Musselwhite. This festival is about 80 miles from both San Francisco and Sacramento. Except for some low morning clouds, the weather should be perfect.
Blue Ridge Music Festival, Salem, Virginia. Perfect weather for listening to and watching people fiddle around.
Santee Street Fair and Craft Beer Festival, Santee, California. It’s southern California. How could the weather not be perfect? And anyway, it’s a beer festival!
The Soul Food Festival, Denver, Colorado. Saturday will be hit or miss with a possible heavy thunderstorm. Sunday will be the better day.
Fun In France
If you’re a tennis fan, or if you just want an excuse to visit ‘Gay Paree,’ the third and fourth rounds of the French Open will be played this weekend. Mother Nature is serving up some fine weather for the competitors and spectators, with temperatures in the 70s.
Far Out Festival Pick Of The Week
Summerburst Goteborg 2014, Goteborg, Sweden, May 31. If you needed an excuse to visit Scandinavia, here it is. With groups named Cosmic Gate and Psyko Punkz, how can you go wrong? The weather? Well, there’s rain in the forecast; the average high temperature is 63 and the low 46. What did you expect? On a clear day, you can see the arctic circle.