After 186 days of sub-70 degree weather, Boston reached a whopping 84 degrees yesterday afternoon to not only the break the lack of 70-degree weather, but the non-80 degree string was snapped as well. I saw a few tweets Monday about how we only have two seasons around here, winter and summer. It might feel that way, but in actuality we do have a period of more moderate temperatures, it’s just not very long.
I’m not sure what the ideal spring temperatures are for everyone, but it seems like 60s is a good range for spring and fall temperatures. May and October are the months when the average high is most often in the 60s. In other words, average would indicate these two months should be bring what you might call spring and fall weather.
Notice the chart below. You can see the average high temperature this month starts in the lower 60s and finally reaches the lower 70s by the end of the month. October is basically the opposite.
Here’s the issue. Averages are nice to talk about, and if we lived in San Diego, Miami or the North Pole, they might have more meaning. Here in New England the jet stream is often either moving south or north of us. While this river of air has a normal position, it’s highly variable over time.
In any given year the upper level winds can configure themselves making it cooler or warmer than average. The chart below shows the May 5 averages in the record books for Boston.
For today, using all this data, the high would be about 63 degrees. In actuality, we will be 10-12 degree over this number. Next year we might have a high of 55 degrees, that’s how we get our averages around here. It’s not very often our temperatures fall into a predicted range like the charts show. As a side note, if we look at just the past 20 years, the high would be just over 64 degrees today, since overall it’s warmer now than it was 100 years ago.
Here’s another graph to help illustrate all of this. It’s from last year. This shows the daily temperatures as compared to the average and the records.
Notice the jagged nature of the dark blue (actual 2014 temperatures) line. Boston, like other spots in New England doesn’t record average temperatures very often. We fall out of the “normal” temperature range quite a bit.
Obviously the first 3 months of this year were colder than average, April was interestingly about average and May will most likely end up on the warmer side of average. The longer range forecast through mid-June continues this trend with the northeast corner of the United States expected to remain warmer.
Just because the average is warm, doesn’t mean it can’t be cool for a few days or we will have big heat.
While there is a chance of showers today, it continues to be quite dry. The lack of rain resumes the rest of the week and into the weekend, when it actually could become quite warm. Many inland areas this might reach the mid-80s Saturday and Sunday. It will be cooler at the coast, but perhaps this weekend might be your first outing to the beach of 2015.
I’ll have more data about the high temperatures for the weekend tomorrow and Thursday. You can also find me on Twitter @growingwisdom.