40 years later, all-time hottest day in New England still stands

August 2nd is special in meteorological history because it’s the day all of New England sweltered in what is still the hottest day ever recorded. On this date, back in 1975, I was a camper at an overnight camp on the Belgrade lakes in Maine. Camp Belgrade would later close, but the memory of that summer is still alive in hundreds of men around the country.

The relevance to my camp experience and the weather is that I was on a canoe trip on an island in the Belgrade’s. I had my weather radio with me and was listening to the overnight low temperature forecast, which would remain in the 80s! I was only 11 years old, but I remember thinking how unusual it was to have such warm temperatures at night. Those warm temperatures in the morning would allow the highs that afternoon to reach levels not seen in some cases since 1911.


Still The Hottest On Record

Chester and New Bedford in Massachusetts would reach 107 degrees on that fateful afternoon, and Portland, Maine hit 103 degrees, all these records have stood for the past 40 years. Nantucket also managed to record its first (and to date only) 100-degree reading in the record books.

Boston reached 102 degrees in 1975, but that wasn’t as hot as the 103-degree reading on July 22nd, 1926, or that same mark of 103 degrees in July 2011.

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Hot Then Cooler

This week we have a bit of heat on Monday, but then it will return to a more seasonable week of temperatures and humidity levels.

This afternoon will be a perfect summer day. High temperatures will rise into the 80s. Humidity levels will remain unnoticeable with dew points in the 50s to near 60 degrees. This is the final weekend of 8 p.m. sunsets until mid-May 2016.

Tomorrow is going to be a hotter day, with a southwest flow of more humid air. You’ll notice the added moisture in the atmosphere and along with highs around 90 degrees, a return to that feeling of too much heat will be back.

A cold front will approach the area Monday night and Tuesday. This front has the potential to bring a line of strong thunderstorms through the area early Tuesday. The timing of the front is critical in determining if we see significant shower activity or just spotty precipitation.


It turns drier and less hot for the middle and end of the workweek with high temperatures quite typical for the first week of August.

Next weekend some of the models have a more significant rain event for much of New England. I would love to see this happen—in spite of many vacation plans—because we need some rain. July was a dry month, and some rainfall is critical for rapidly ripening crops in the area.

Summer rain storms are not the norm and the computer models will likely flip-flop with the forecast over the coming days. I know you might have outdoor plans in the August 8th-9th timeframe, so stay tuned here and on Twitter @growingwisdom for changes to the forecast.

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