BOSTON (AP) — Record warm temperatures had residents in New England ditching winter coats in favor of shirt sleeves and heading to beaches and parks instead of ski slopes.
Temperatures in Boston reached 68 degrees Thursday afternoon. That beat the previous record of 65, which was set in 1990.
In Concord, New Hampshire, temperatures soared to 65, which broke the record of 63 set in 1875. In Vermont, four towns including Burlington had record highs, with the city reaching 63. That broke the record of 56 degrees set in 1984 and was the warmest day ever on record for February — beating the record of 62 set in 1981.
The warm conditions prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flood watch for the weekend for northern New York and central and northern Vermont “due to the combination of snow melt and rainfall amounts between a half and 1 inch.”
The mercury climbed to 66 degrees Thursday in Providence, Rhode Island, and Bradley International Airport, just north of Hartford, Connecticut. That is 6 degrees above Providence’s previous high from 1943 and 1990 and 2 degrees shy of the previous record at Bradley, also set 27 years ago.
James Johnson, 46, took advantage of the warm temperatures to throw horseshoes with a friend at Keney Park in Hartford’s north end.
“Get it in when you can,” he said. “It could be 15 tomorrow.”
Bill Simpson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts, said that’s not exactly true.
A jet stream that is much farther north than normal will keep the temperatures near or above 60 degrees through Saturday, and warmer than normal temperatures around for a few days longer than that.
But, he said the pattern will eventually change. Normal highs for this time of year in the region are at just about 40 degrees.
“Winter isn’t over yet,” he said.