Questions about the weather

Jul 19th, 2008, 11:30 PM
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Questions about the weather

I'll be in the US for August. I have been looking at the 10 day forecast for the cities I will be visiting: LA, Las Vegas, Boston, DC, NYC. I've noticed on a number of the forecasts, there are "isolated thunderstorms" predicted for quite a few of the days. Is this normal for summer in these cities, or is there a bit of short-term wet weather crossing the country that might clear up in the next few weeks?

Where I live in Adelaide, South Australia summer is hot (dry heat, not humid) and there is very little rain at all. I'm expecting that it will be hot while in the US, but hadn't thought about the amount of rain/storms that may occur at that time of year.
speckles is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 12:05 AM
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Isolated thunderstorms are common in much of the US during the summer. They're most likely to occur late in the afternoon/early in the evening.
CAPH52 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 02:27 AM
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Yes, what caph said: This is a common weather pattern all summer in much of the US, including the east coast (NYC, DC, Boston). We've had a particularly active summer here in Boston, with late-day thunderstorms more common and more severe than most years. Around here, summer starts winding down in mid-August, when the evenings get noticeably cooler.

Boston doesn't have rainy or dry seasons; we get an average of 3 to 4 inches of precipitation each month all year.
Anonymous is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 05:15 AM
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The US is going to be a lot more humid in the summer than you are used to. And on hot humid days, it seems there is always a chance of some bad weather. Check the actual percentage chance of rain. That helps.

kelliebellie is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 06:52 AM
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When the time of your trip approaches and while in US, when you check weather for Boston, NY, Washington, my best advice is to ignore the weather forecase more than 24-48 hours out. It is amazing and amusing to me that with billions in satellites and other technology, they can not get the weather correct, but that is true. The temperature predictions are likely to be accurate, but amount of sun/clouds/rain will not be.

In general, as stated above, east coast temperatures will likely be warm/hot (75-90 degrees F) with fairly high humidity. In August you are unlikely to hit a prolonged period of rainy days, but it is possible.

Isolated could mean it rains in one place but 10 miles away it never gets wet. It also usually means they pass by fairly rapidly.

Las Vegas will feel like home.

No clue about August weather in LA

One other thought - if there are thunderstorms passing thru an area, you are likely to get flight delays.

Welcome - have a good trip.
gail is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 07:00 AM
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I find answers to my questions about weather at

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 09:23 AM
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I would suggest that in general the US is much more humid than Australia. That means a couple of things:

When it's hot it's also humid - so feels much hotter (be sure to keep well hydrated)

Afternoon thunderstorms are typical of much of the country in the summer - the hotter the weather the more likely. Typically what you get is a torrential downpour with thunder and lightning that lasts 30 to 45 minutes or so. the only sensible thing to do is find shelter - since umbrellas are fairly useless (and the sidewalks often end up simply running with water). Mostly occurs between about 3 and 7 pm - but can happen anytime. (This is also when you get all of those tornados in the mid west and even parts of the south).

And - it's not that this is lot of extra rain - the summer is actually fairly dry - versus spring and fall when we get more rain. The US is just a lot wetter than Australia (which I believe is largely desert or sub-desert).
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 10:49 AM
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We've (British) just returned from a cross-country trip. Yes, you will probably encounter afternoon storms. In NYC we arrived in a thunderstorm and there was another the next evening (the whole of Times Square scattered!) The temperature there (early June) was 98 degrees F and very humid. The midwest was hot to cool with frequent thunderstorms while we were there. There was much flooding and even Chicago was on 'tornado watch'! (But you're not going there!)We have also encountered plenty of storms in the Utah parks and Yellowstone in the past. (But you're not going there either!) By contrast, Vegas is hot and dry - when we were there, this time, it was around 106F, but there was a horrible HOT wind, which made it uncomfortable. Palm Springs was hotter, but more comfortable, we felt. I've been to LA in July and August - I think you can expect dry and warm (low 80s).
Hope you have a great time! And, don't worry about the weather forecast too much - you won't worry about it when there - there's too much to enjoy!
wildblueyonder is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 11:25 AM
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"Back East" (Boston, DC, NYC) is typically more humid than the west coast (LA, Vegas) in summer-time.

The weather in these 5 very different locations you mention, is unlikely to be the same.
suze is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 12:01 PM
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Of course you are not coming to Florida, but our summer weather is similar to that in Far North Queensland!
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 12:04 PM
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Vegas will be very hot and dry. LA will be the most predictably nice weather (all of Southern California) with highs in the mid to high 80s and lowish humidity. The east coast may still be hot that time of year; certainly DC is likely to be, and humid too.
ncounty is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 12:29 PM
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On average, Boston's weather is just like New York's only a day later.

DC will be ten to 15 degrees warmer than those cities, and much more humid in the summer. My daughter who lives in DC knew that the weather was seriously uncomfortable when she heard complaints about it from a co-worker who had grown up in Panama.

An hour ago at about 3 PM we had a thunderstorm with pelting rain for about 10 minutes, and now we have light rain with thunder in the distance again. The upside of all this is that just ten minutes of rain late in the day can cool everything off my 10 to 15 degrees, especially by cooling the pavement of the heat of the day.
Anonymous is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 12:50 PM
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Yes, no thunderstorms in LA in August, it will be hot and dry. Very rarely do we have rain in August, if we do it is a storm coming up from Mexico.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 01:49 PM
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I'm going to put my "mom hat" on for a minute and remind everybody to get INDOORS during a thunderstorm. NOT under a tree. Do it when you hear the thunder, don't mess around while it approaches. As noted above, "the whole of Times Square scattered!"

"Two people were in critical condition and another five were hospitalized following a lightning strike in Dorchester around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
According to Boston Police, the group was standing underneath a tree in the area of 70 Talbot Ave. watching a soccer game when the lightning hit."
Anonymous is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 02:41 PM
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Vegas and LA don;t get thunderstorms since they are essentially desert or semi-desert climates. You will find thunderstorms very common in hot/humid summer weather in the temperate parts - most of the country.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 11:28 PM
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Hi all. Thanks for the replies. Sounds like the weather will be worse than I thought. So, an umbrella is not worth the hassle? I haven't currently planned on packing one (trying to pack light for 4 week trip).

Really hate the humidity, but there's not much I can do about that. And while I'm used to hot, dry weather like in Vegas, I don't normally spend time outside on days when it's really hot. We'll just have to take it as it comes.

I believe South Australia is sometimes referred to as "the driest state in the driest continent". The northern half of the state is very dry and desert-like, with few inhabitants, but the southern half is farm lands and regional cities.
speckles is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 06:48 AM
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Personal choice about whether a small travel umbrella is worth the space in your suitcase.

You could wait and see if you need it, and buy one IF you end up stuck in rain?
suze is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 08:47 AM
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"Vegas and LA don't get thunderstorms". Well, not exactly true. We don't get as many as some other areas of the country but, in the summer especially, we can have severe isolated thunderstorms that can be real gully-washers (literally).

As recently as yesterday, the east side of LV had a severe thunderstorm and flash flood alert in the area of Nellis AFB. Last week, here in Mesquite, we had thunderstorms surrounding us for three afternoons and did get a little bit of rain from it.

I can't speak for the east coast areas of the country but in the west, thunderstorms need to be treated with some respect (lightening precautions, flash flood warnings, etc) but for the most part, they are usually somewhere else, fairly brief, and not a major factor in how to spend your day.
dwooddon is online now  
Jul 21st, 2008, 08:48 AM
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I just personally don't like umbrellas. A lightweight breathable rain jacket with a hood is much better. With summer thunderstorms, it usually means that the wind is really blowing and there is lightening in the area. So the umbrella is going to blow all around, the rain is going to blow under the umbrella, and now you are a large lightening rod.

Just make sure the rain jacket breathes, because it will be hot. And I second the idea to head inside quickly if there is lightening in the area. It can be very dangerous.
kelliebellie is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 09:14 AM
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On the east coast the thunderstorms tend to come through in waves in the afternoon - and usually everyplace gets it. they aren;t that violent as to cause floods - just a pain in the butt when walking around a city. And when the weather is hot/humid you will often get them several days in a row.
nytraveler is offline  
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