World and Nation

A Little Bit of Everything

A Little Bit of Everything

It’s becoming that time of year when terms like “pop up thunderstorms” or “hit-or-miss showers” are often found in the forecast. When one minute it is sunny, the next it can be pouring rain. As we transition to the summer season, if there is sufficient convection, moisture, and lift, this can trigger thunderstorms. Today’s chance of thunderstorms may make you wonder how there can be thunderstorms when it’s not that hot. This is because the convection from today’s scattered thunderstorms is “upside down.” Typically, convection is trigged from the strong heating at the surface. Instead, the instability here is from the cold air aloft. This too can drive buoyancy differences and help initiate thunderstorms.

Most of the thunderstorm activity will likely develop and stay to the west of Boston. As the thunderstorms approach campus, they will likely dissipate, due to the proximity of the cold ocean waters and the resulting relatively stable column of air. This is the reason why Boston doesn’t receive as many thunderstorms as its suburban counterparts.

Extended Forecast

Tonight: Mostly cloudy, lows in the mid 40s F (7 C). East winds 10 mph.

Tomorrow: Sunny, highs in the mid 60s F (18 C).

Thursday: Mostly cloudy, chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 60s F (20 C).

Friday: Sunny, highs in the lower 70s°F (22 C).

Saturday: Sunny, highs in the lower 70s°F (22 C).