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Another record high in Boston

Posted by David Epstein  March 19, 2012 03:33 PM

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What a spectacular afternoon. It feels like May or June, rather than the last couple of days of winter. Temperatures this afternoon will soar into the 70s across much of the region. Yesterday Boston broke a record high of 74°, breaking the old record which was set just last year of 70°. This afternoon we hit 74° breaking the record high of 72° set way back in 1903. Inland areas will once again reach for the mid 70s this afternoon with plenty of sunshine.

Today, Chicago is making a run at day 6 of record high temperatures. That is their second longest stretch of records ever! We got a taste of that warmth yesterday with most areas reaching the 70s. This unprecedented early warm continues across our area today, with one exception. This time of the year, sea breezes can keep coastal areas 10°, 20° even 30° cooler than their inland counterparts. That huge difference in temperatures will be the case today. One of the extreme examples will be the Cape later this afternoon temperatures will fall back into the upper 40s and low 50s, while Fitchburg and surrounding inland remain near 76° or 77°.

Our winds will be coming from the northeast today and that brings in cool ocean area. The winds are so light early this afternoon that even the coast is warming into the 60s and 70s. Tomorrow, our winds flip back to the southwest and Boston and other coastal areas will once again reach for the 70s in the afternoon. The Cape will still be cooler as they are surrounded by chilly Atlantic waters. I expect most of Cape Cod to have temperatures into the 70s by Thursday. That will be the warmest day of this stretch of June-like temperatures.

All of this warm weather is due to the jet stream. The jet, which controls our weather, has moved far north well into Canada. This pattern allows very warm air to move north from the south has turned our weather to be more conducive to June rather than March. This pattern will continue much of the week with even warmer temperatures slated for Wednesday and Thursday. There is even the possibility some areas will make a run at 90° on Thursday putting all-time March temperatures records in jeopardy. (see records below)

jet stream heat.jpg

Records highs will no doubt happen this week. Below is a list of high temperatures for the major cites in southern New England this week.


TEMP (YEAR) MON (19) TUE (20) WED (21) THU (22)


BOSTON 72 (1903) 79 (1945) 83 (1921) 72 (1948)
WINDSOR LOCKS 73 (2010) 81 (1945) 82 (1921) 75 (1948/PREV)
PROVIDENCE 69 (2010) 83 (1945) 84 (1921) 74 (1948)
WORCESTER 71 (1894) 77 (1945) 71 (1921) 76 (1938)

Here are the all time highs for March.

BOSTON 89 DEGREES ON MARCH 31 1998

WINDSOR LOCKS 89 DEGREES ON MARCH 31 1998

PROVIDENCE 90 DEGREES ON MARCH 29 1945

WORCESTER 84 DEGREES ON MARCH 31 1998 AND PREVIOUS YEARS


Gardening tip of the week.

Normally, I would not plant pansies this early in the season. However, I am going with the weather pattern, not the caller. This week, I will plant my pansies and other cool weather plants. I have already planted seeds of peas, lettuce and arugula back in February and they are up and growing. I even had to water them this weekend.

Follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at GrowingWisdom.com

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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