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Heat Advisory , the Tropics and A Trip to a Cooler Place

Jason Samenow @ 12:27 AM

A Heat Advisory is in effect today

I'm not going to go into a lot of detail here, just because the weather today is going to be exactly like yesterday. Here are the take home points:
  • It is going to be oppressively humid, again -- with dewpoints in the mid 70s
  • When you couple the high humidity with temperatures in the low 90s, it will feel close to 100, or a bit higher -- hence the heat advisory
  • There will be intervals of partial sunshine that will be interrupted by occasional showers and thunderstorms, some of which will produce very loud thunder, lightning and torrential rain
The Tropics

Hurricane Emily is a monster and is a high end Category 4 storm. Her maximum sustained winds are at 155mph as of 11pm last night. When her pressure dropped below 930mb yesterday, she became the most intense Atlantic basin July hurricane on record -- second only to...Dennis. Hard to believe that the two most intense July storms on record have occurred in the same year and just about a week apart.

This storm is likely to do serious damage on the Yucatan peninsula. Resort areas such as Cancun and Cozumel may take a huge hit. For the first time ever, The Weather Channel (TWC) is sending a meteorologist to cover a storm in another country. According to WeatherBlog, TWC is sending Mike Bettes to the Yucatan. The National Hurricane Center is not confident about where the second landfall will occur and Texas is still in play:
With such a fast start to this year's hurricane season, one might wonder what would happen if we got through the alphabet and ran out of names. WeatherBlog speculates on this, and a commenter indicates the National Hurricane Center would use the Greek alphabet for backup (e.g. Hurricane Alpha, Beta, etc).

Pictured: The Eye of Emily

Live from Mount Washington features writer Andrew Freedman is spending the summer working at the Mount Washington Observatory, the self-proclaimed home of the World's Worst Weather. This is the fourth in a series of biweekly reports (read the first report, second report and third report).

As I write this I can see fair weather cumulus clouds popping just below the summit's elevation of 6,288 feet. The clouds seem growing out of the nooks and crannies of the northern Presidential mountains, with stable air above us preventing them from developing into anything significant.

The snowpatches that dotted the landscape until a few weeks ago have given way to green scrub and a wide assortment of insects, along with tourists seeking a relief from the valley heat and a good view. Yesterday we could see for about 80 miles after a weak cold front cleared us out, but the haze was back today, limiting visibility to about 20 miles.

Our temperature has climbed into the low 60s today, a rarity for the mountain, but seemingly normal for this summer thus far. Last month was Mount Washington's warmest June on record, with temperatures averaging 51.5 degrees, 7.1 degrees above normal. Never before had June temperatures averaged more than 50 degrees. So, if you think it's been hot in DC, just think about me sweltering up here! Granted I am talking about 60 degree heat with a dewpoint in the low 50s, but considering that our average annual temperature is below freezing, that's a pretty big deal. I see dewpoints are
in the mid 70s back in DC. Yikes!

I am amazed at the lack of extreme weather thus far this shift, the past two days have been almost calm. Yesterday some of the observatory staff and I played frisbee on the observation deck and marvelled at the 3-cup anemometer, which came to a standstill close to sunset. I have satisfied my desire for meteorological excitement by looking through historical data. I found that the wind hit 154 mph on July 20, 1996, with numerous other July days eclipsing hurricane force. In fact, we exceed hurricane force more than 100 days a year, but mainly in the fall/winter/spring. I guess I will have to content myself with the tranquil summertime weather for now, and who knows what awaits me on my next shift.

Check out the latest conditions at, and learn more about becoming a summit member, which would allow you to volunteer up here for a week. And to Kevin Ambrose, you've got some big fans up here. That last lightning photo you took was the subject of dinnertime conversation among the obs. staff. Keep it up!

Pictured: Clearing skies and outstanding visibility greeted Mt. Washington visitors on Friday. Image courtesy Mt. Washington Observatory

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