Forecasters were sounding the alarm Thursday about the forecast weekend heat spike, which has suddenly been upgraded to a full-blown threat to monthly records in the mid-Atlantic.
The National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, N.J., tweeted this Thursday morning: “To say this weekend’s heat will be record breaking is an understatement. Several record daily highs are likely on Saturday and the temps will even challenge some monthly records for May.”
Atmospheric conditions will be ripe to pull hot air north and across the entire Eastern Seaboard.
“Highs in the mid- to upper 90s are expected, at or above daily records and in some cases near all-time May monthly records,” weather service meteorologists explained.
AccuWeather is forecasting 96 for Berks on Saturday and again Sunday with moderate humidity both days before a cool front crashes into the hot air, kicking off thunderstorms later Sunday.
Conditions should return to normal Monday with highs in the low 70s under sunny skies, according to AccuWeather.
The highest monthly temperature on record for Berks is 96 degrees, and that occurred in 1962 and 1996. All of the dates but May 2 have at least 90 as the record.
The May record temperature is lower than the April record of 97.
“Of the 12 calendar months, the monthly record high for May appears the most vulnerable to be bettered, especially considering April’s 97,” said Jeffrey R. Stoudt, Berks weather historian and retired meteorologist. “A possible cause of May’s relative ‘lowness’ is rampant vegetative growth, especially from trees, which recently had come into leaf. That photosynthesis absorbs considerable energy from the surrounding air.”
The current vegetative growth might serve to keep the weekend temperatures from reaching their potential as well. That has been factored into the forecasts.
Rainfall totals from early Thursday generally were in the half-inch-to-inch range, with Boyertown topping the available list at 1.10 inches.
This year has seen many temperature date records fall that were considered relatively weak, even being replaced by temperature marks that still weren’t that strong. Some of those date records had survived the decades by chance.
This month has seen above normal rainfall, and one temperature record was tied. That was a 66-degree low on May 14, which tied with 1953 and 1956 for the warmest low for the date.
The temperature database for Berks opens with 1898. The warmest day in 2022 has been 83 degrees on April 14. That is likely to be passed Friday.
No heat watches or warnings have yet been issued.
Source: Berkshire mont