Puerto Rico is in the midst of an unusually dry and record-setting hot stretch of weather. Some relief is on the horizon, but it will not be long-lasting.
Record heat baked Puerto Rico's capital of San Juan both Tuesday and Wednesday and threatens to do the same into Friday.
Temperatures today are headed to near the day's record high of 96 from 1983, then they will challenge Friday's record of 94 degrees from the same year.
This week's record highs are actually not that far above the 88 degrees that San Juan typically warms to this time of year. What is really unusual and contributing to the heat is the absence of cooling showers and thunderstorms.
Dry air has not only kept the Atlantic Basin free of organized tropical systems this month, but it has also limited the development of showers and thunderstorms over San Juan. No measurable rain has dampened the city so far this June, a month that typically records 4.40 inches of rain.
That dry stretch will continue through Friday, and without the storminess and accompanying clouds, temperatures will no trouble challenging records.
The recent lack of rain has also dried out vegetation, leading to a heightened fire danger.
The good news is that the presence of high humidity is preventing the fire danger from being extreme. The bad news is that the combination of the heat and humidity is creating a very uncomfortable environment for those who must spend time outdoors.
Residents are urged to avoid strenuous outdoor activities and to drink plenty of water before some relief finally arrives this weekend.
The passage of a tropical wave will open the door for moisture to surge across Puerto Rico this weekend, leading to an increase in much-welcome showers and thunderstorms.
The storminess, however, will not be here to stay.
After additional spotty showers and thunderstorms follow early next week, latest indications point toward the return of a lengthy stretch of dry and hot weather for the second half of the week.
The potential for isolated severe weather will creep up in the Northern Plains, Texas and the Gulf States.
Strong thunderstorms moving across Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee Friday are capable of producing damaging winds, large hail and a risk of a few tornadoes.
The volcano is in a rather remote spot, and the biggest price will be to airlines caused by the ash.
Thunderstorms with hail, damaging winds and tornadoes are pushing through the Plains continuing this weekend and into Monday.
Though recovery continues from Superstorm Sandy, residents and homeowners on the Atlantic coast should prepare for another active season in 2013.
A tornado reaching up to a mile wide at times left at least six dead Wednesday in Hood and Johnson counties, Texas.
Chicago, IL (1894)
Severe snow/rain storm; 9 vessels on Lake Michigan destroyed.
Moorhead, MN (2007)
Heavy rainfall caused streets to flood over curbs and ditches to fill up. Quarter-sized hail also fell.
Tornado in Burlington, OH. The storm leveled every structure in the town - houses, barns, walls and fences.