What, Where, When, And Weather For Weekend Activities

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The forecast for Saturday, 7/19/14. Courtesy of NOAA

The forecast for Saturday, 7/19/14. Courtesy of NOAA

Midsummer is vacation time for a lot of people, and weekends are party time for just about everyone.

Beach and boat weather looks good in the US, and there are important international events on the continent.

Let’s check out a sampling of weekend activities for both participants and spectators.

Beach And Boating Weather

The water has warmed up in most coastal locations, and vacationers will head for the beaches this weekend for swimming and boating.

In the US, water temperatures are now in the 80s from Cape Hatteras around to Texas — great for swimming. From Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras, the southern shores of the Great Lakes, and along the southern California coast, water temperatures are in the 70s — comfortable. Elsewhere the water is still cold.

Keep in mind that on ocean or Great Lakes beaches, the water temperature can vary substantially with the wind direction. An offshore wind (blowing from land to sea) can push the warm water away and bring in colder water from below; an onshore wind can bring warmer surface water to the shore.

Except for the southern half of the Texas coast, Lake Superior, and the northern Pacific coast, winds should be generally light and waters calm. The strong currents caused by last week’s Supermoon have subsided. Nevertheless, local conditions can be hazardous, and swimmers and boaters should heed all advisories from the National Weather Service, and warnings from lifeguards.

The front that brought record cool weather to the eastern US is now draped across Dixie. Some thunderstorm activity is likely on the beaches of the mid-Atlantic, southeast, and Gulf of Mexico.

A beach is a bad place to be in a thunderstorm, and in the water is the absolute worst. When you see lightning, get out of the water and off the beach.

British Open Golf Tournament, Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Merseyside, England, Saturday and Sunday

This is the 143rd British Open, so by this time they ought to be getting it right. The course is in perfect shape and the field is studded with stars.

Weather: Liverpool is on the Irish Sea, and if that isn’t a large enough source of water, the Atlantic ocean lies just beyond Ireland. At 53 degrees latitude, Liverpool is well within the jet stream flow at any time of year. Rain is frequent, even in summer.

The first round on Thursday went off without interruption, and scores were low. Today’s conditions may be a bit windier, but still good. However, an intensifying wave in the jet stream is pushing a cold front towards the area; Saturday will probably be rainy, possibly a washout; hopefully the front will pass and the weather will clear for the final round on Sunday.

Tour de France, Stage 14, Grenoble to Risoul, Saturday

There are two ways to view this event. You can fly to France, set up shop at a location along the route, watch the cyclers pass by, and then wonder what to do for the rest of the day.

Or, you can View and Brew on the Jumbotron while sampling a new batch of microbeer at Creature Comforts Brewing Co., Athens, Georgia. Similar events are planned at local bars everywhere.

Weather: This leg of the race will be unseasonably hot, with temperatures climbing to the mid 90s at the lower elevations and the mid 80s even in the Alps. Decoded Science advises watching on the big screen.

Featured Major League Baseball Games Of The Week

Cincinnati Reds @ New York Yankees, Saturday, 1:05 p.m.

Cincinnati, fighting for a playoff spot, makes a rare appearance in Yankee Stadium. Their ace pitcher, Alfredo Simon takes the mound with a 12-3 record against Brandon McCarthy, recently acquired from Arizona to shore up the Yankees’ injury-riddled staff. McCarthy pitched well in his first appearance; this will be his first start in Yankee Stadium.

Weather: The polar air mass that brought record low temperatures to the midwest and south during the week blew New York a kiss of cool air. Midday temperatures will be in the low 80s with comfortable humidity. Could there be a better time to see one of the major leagues’ best pitchers and Derek Jeter in his last season?

Los Angeles Dodgers @ St. Louis Cardinals, Sunday, 8:05 p.m.

Last year’s Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw pitches for the Dodgers. Kershaw is on track for a second Cy, with a record of 11 wins and two losses, an earned run average of 1.78, and a no-hitter this season. St. Louis is nip-and-tuck with the Milwaukee Brewers for supremacy in the National League Central Division, while the Dodgers are battling the San Francisco Giants for first place in the West..

Weather: The polar air mass that brought cool, crisp weather to the midwest midweek will be giving way to a milder flow from the south on Sunday. The warm air pushing up over the cooler air will produce just a chance of a shower.

Extreme Spectator Event Of The Week

Extreme Autofest 2014, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California: 600 show cars, bikes, trucks, and SUVs. Drag racing and motorcycle stunts.

Weather: San Diego, at 32 degrees latitude, is in a zone of high pressure that circles the globe. Under high pressure, the air subsides, and the skies are generally clear. Most of the world’s deserts are located in this zone. So despite the moisture source of a nearby ocean of considerable size, San Diego receives relatively little rain — basically none in the summer when the jet stream is well to the north. The weather will be perfect in southern California for any outdoor activities this weekend.

Decoded Science Featured Participation Event Of The Week

Mack Cycle International Triathlon, Key Biscayne, FL: Swim, bike, and run with Decoded Science author Jon Plotkin in his first attempt at this distance (1/2 mile swim; 20 mile bike; 10k run). There’s also a sprint triathlon (half the distance of the international), and for landlubbers, a duathlon: bike and run.

Weather: We couldn’t find a weather forecaster in south Florida, as they all go on vacation for the summer and mail in a forecast of hot and humid with a 50-50 chance of showers and thunderstorms.

The weather this weekend will be no departure from normal: temperature at race time (6:45 a.am.) — 78 degrees, rising to the mid 80s by the finish at around nine. More important is the dew point, which is in the mid 70s; this makes sweating less effective in cooling the body. Bring plenty to drink. The rain normally holds off until the afternoon.

Nothing To Complain About, Weatherwise

Midsummer days on the continents of the northern hemisphere are often punctuated by afternoon showers. With the World Cup over, vacationers will fan out for a variety of activities, rain or shine. Have a great, safe weekend whatever Mother Nature serves up where you are.

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