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Uncomfortable humidity builds midweek, with severe storms possible Saturday

Dave Hayes is a self-described “weather nut” (a term he prefers to “enthusiast”) who lives in western Massachusetts, his home for almost 30 years. He operates a daily blog on Facebook (facebook.com/WesternMassWeather), where he produces hyper-local reports, answers questions, and keeps more than 20,000 followers informed and educated about the weather that will impact their plans and lives.

It’s a new week, folks, and if you’re reading this, you’re above ground, and if you’re above ground, you get to experience more life and more weather!

Starting Wednesday and lasting into at least Thursday, the hottest and most muggy air of the season will be foisted upon us, whether we’re ready or not.

High pressure will dominate our weather and foster a mostly sunny Wednesday, with highs in the mid-80s in the mountains to the lower 90s in valley locations. Humidity will begin building through the night, with lows in the lower 60s.

On Thursday, the humidity noticeably increases, with dew point temperatures (the temperature at which water condenses out of the air) reaching into the 60s.

For reference, once the dew point temperature reaches 70 degrees or above, it feels like the tropics. This means that those with appropriate health issues like respiratory conditions should take it easy, as the heat index (the “feels like” temperature) will climb into the mid 90s, with actual highs in the mid to upper 80s.

A weak upper low will be moving through the flow in southern Vermont, which could produce an isolated shower or thunderstorm in Windham County Thursday afternoon and evening, with lows in the middle 60s.

By Friday, a warm front will be nearby, and could spark some more scattered showers and thunderstorms. It will be humid with highs in the mid 80s, and lows in the lower 60s.

Saturday is the best shot for widespread showers and thunderstorms. Low pressure races east through southeastern Canada and will drape a cold front to its south, which will approach the area by Saturday afternoon and evening.

This energetic system could foster a deep layer of wind shear. Wind shear refers to a change in wind speed and/or wind direction with height, from surface to sky. Substantial shear is a key component to developing severe weather, so keep an eye to the west, my friends.

It’ll be mostly cloudy, and cooler, with highs 75 to 80 degrees and lows either side of 60.

By Sunday, any severe summer weather should be over, and a weaker cold front will approach the region. Additional scattered showers or an isolated thunderstorm is possible. It will be partly sunny with highs in the mid 70s.

We dry out and enjoy fair weather with partly sunny skies and highs in the middle 70s for Monday and Tuesday.

Have a great week!

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Originally published in The Commons issue #364 (Wednesday, July 6, 2016). This story appeared on page C4.

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