With 10 days to the summer solstice and peak daylight, the cool, windy weather looks unusual for early June. But we’re actually a bit above normal, as average high temperatures for Berkshire County are in the mid-70s at this time of year.
However, it is a little cold after the heat waves of the second half of May. For this weekend and next week, look for partly cloudy skies, intermittent showers, but no washout like Thursday morning’s deluge, which eliminated any threat of abnormally dry conditions affecting western Massachusetts like the rest of State.
On Saturday, scattered showers and maybe an isolated storm or two could develop in the afternoon, but nothing heavy, so there’s no need to forget the outside plans. Overall it should be partly sunny, with highs in the 70s, low humidity and light winds. But there is a chance of showers on Sunday afternoon and evening, so outdoor enthusiasts should target their activities for the first half of the day.
Generally fair skies are expected Monday and Tuesday, with gradual warming in the upper 70s each afternoon. The forecast for the middle of the week and beyond is uncertain with some chance of clouds and showers during an otherwise dry and sunny period.
Highs are expected to reach or exceed 80 from Wednesday.
The extended perspectives June 17-23 from the Climate Prediction Center shows slightly above normal temperatures and precipitation.
Dangerous heat persists from California to southern Texas with highs of 10 to 20 degrees above normal, causing many triple-digit records to be set this weekend. The forecast high for Phoenix on Saturday and Sunday is 114. With overnight lows likely to offer little relief, the potential for heat-related illnesses will remain high across the region.
Rain and melting snow are raising concerns about flooding in parts of the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies, triggering flood watches for parts of Washington, northern Idaho and western Montana.
While temperatures will remain above normal from Southern California to the Plains through early next week, a Pacific system will likely bring both precipitation and much cooler temperatures to Northern California on Sunday.
Showers and storms are expected to develop over the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest on Saturday. Some can get violent, with isolated large hail and damaging winds possible.
Next week, dangerous heat is expected to move from the Plains to the east-central and southeastern United States with the greatest likelihood of record highs Monday through Wednesday.
The central and northern west coast is expected to experience below normal temperatures by the end of next week. Highs in the San Francisco area will drop from lows of 70 over the weekend to lows of 60 by Wednesday and beyond, with no rain in the forecast. Southern California will be dry with highs in the 80s along the coast this weekend and all of next week, but much warmer inland.
South Florida can expect thunderstorms this weekend, followed by mostly clear skies and highs in the mid-80s. Thunderstorms are likely along the Gulf Coast Saturday and Tuesday, with sunshine the rest of the time and temperatures reaching 90 or slightly above.
The Carolinas will be dry inland for the next seven days with highs around 100 while coastal areas peak in the 80s under partly cloudy skies, as well as thunderstorms Saturday and Tuesday.
The Great Salt Lake has shrunk by two-thirds and continues to dry up. Here are the likely impacts:
• The air surrounding Salt Lake City would sometimes become toxic because the lake contains high levels of arsenic and as it becomes exposed, windstorms carry this arsenic into the lungs of nearby residents, who make up three-quarters of the people of Utah.
• Skiing conditions at resorts above Salt Lake City would worsen, threatening hospitality industry revenues.
• Massive die-offs of lake flies and brine shrimp beginning as early as this summer could threaten the 10 million migrating birds that stop at the lake each year to feed on the tiny creatures.
• The lucrative extraction of magnesium and other minerals from the lake would slow or stop.
“We have this potential environmental nuclear bomb that’s going to go off if we don’t take drastic enough action,” Joel Ferry, a Republican lawmaker and rancher who lives on the north side of the lake, told The New York Times.
To save the Great Salt Lake, more snowmelt from the mountains would have to be allowed to flow into the lake, which means less water for residents and farmers. This would threaten the region’s rapid population growth and high-value agriculture.
Utah’s dilemma raises a fundamental question: how quickly are Americans prepared to adapt to the effects of climate change, even as those effects become urgent, evident, and potentially catastrophic?
The stakes are alarming, according to Timothy D. Hawkes, a Republican lawmaker who wants more aggressive action. Otherwise, he said, the Great Salt Lake faces the same fate as Owens Lake in California, which dried up decades ago, producing the country’s worst levels of dust pollution and helping to transform the neighboring community into a ghost town.
“It’s not just alarmist,” he said of the lake’s disappearance. “It can actually happen.”