Coming soon: Magnificent weekend

By this time last year, the temperature had gone over 90 four times in Philadelphia in June, hitting 99 on the 9th, and the region had experienced its first heat wave.

That actually was an improvement over the previous June, when Philadelphia experienced six 90-plus days by the 13th, and the month would finish a blistering 5.9 degrees above normal.

Those hot starts foreshadowed the heat to come, with the summer of 2010 the warmest on record, and 2011's, No. 5.

So far, June has produced only one 90-plus afternoon -- that was Sunday's -- temperatures are averaging near normal, and, significantly, precipitation is running close to 0.8 inches above normal.

Not even the most-sophisticated computer models can say with any certainty whether this season's relatively pleasant run will continue.

But the outlook for the next several days is looking splendid, with a weekend about as fine as the atmosphere could craft in mid-June. 

The National Weather Service is calling for sun and temperatures in the low 80s from here until Tuesday.

Meanwhile the ocean temperature off Cape May this morning is a balmy 75.7, and 71.1 off Atlantic City.

A hot spell is possible the middle of next week, says the Commodity Weather Group, in Washington.

But we saw something similar on the horizon last week, and it didn't materialize.

Having moisture in the soil doesn't hurt. Philadelphia picked up almost exactly an inch of rain from this latest episode, which turned out to be more-persistent, rather than showery.

Moisture keeps the sun busy. The more water it has to evaporate, the less energy is has to heat the ground.