Some New Englanders will be putting on the air conditioning just days after the furnace was cranking.
Two weeks ago it was snowing — and there’s even more snow in the forecast for the Berkshires Monday — but it’s all about the heat for the second part of this week.
As a cool pool of air retreats Tuesday, a southerly flow of summertime temperatures will take over and we will have three days where it’ll seem like July. There will even be some humidity Thursday night and Friday.
Not that out of the ordinary
Over the past 30 years, the average date that Boston reaches 80 degrees for the first time is May 1, so this is quite typical. Remember averages in New England are made up of extremes. Factually, the average temperature for this week is in the lower 60s, but that is based on 30 years of both colder and warmer readings.
While I do expect many areas to reach 80 or better Wednesday through Friday, the peak of the warmth should arrive on Thursday, with temperatures that day getting into the mid- to upper 80s. It would not surprise me if some place over-achieves and has a reading near 90 degrees.
Been a while since this warm in early May
Assuming temperatures reach the 80s as predicted, this would mean one of the warmer May 2, 3, or 4s that we have seen in a while. The chart below shows the top 20 warm temperatures during that three-day period. We’d have to get to 90 or better to break records, which is unlikely.
Not everyone will be feeling the heat
Of course, any time you have this kind of warmth, there are exceptions to the rule. Cape Ann and Cape Cod will not be as warm, as a southwest wind this time of year can keep temperatures quite cool near the water.
Just look at any map and you’ll notice how Cape Ann and Cape Cod both have water to their southwest. This means any wind blowing from that direction will carry very chilly air over the land and keep temperatures from reaching those warm 80s. This is why it’s so nice to be at these locations in the heat of summer — however, it can be frustrating for residents this time of the year, when high temperatures remain in the 60s or even 50s!
If you want to head to a beach, it will be warmest in places off Cape Ann and over southeastern Massachusetts, excluding Cape Cod.
Cold ocean water
Now before you go jumping into the Atlantic later this week, remember this is still May and the water is anything but warm. Actually, trying to swim in it would be somewhat dangerous if you are not dressed properly, as the temperature in Boston Harbor is only about 47 degrees. You’ll need to wait at least another month before it’s reasonably comfortable to go swimming — and even then, many of you might want to wait until after July 4th to dip your toes in.
The 80s will come to an end during the weekend, but it’ll still be warmer than average. I expect it to look very green by the time we get there.