Scorching Heat Breaks Regional Records

  • Nessa King of Wyndham, Maine, returns a shot while playing volleyball in record breaking heat at Old Orchard Beach, Maine, Thursday, May 18, 2017. King was one of hundreds of Maine high school seniors who skipped school to enjoy a day at the beach with classmates. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

  • Ed Tirone takes a break from reading on the pier to wipe a wet washcloth over his face in Hoboken, N.J., Thursday, May 18, 2017. Forecasters say temperatures across the state could reach the above 90 degrees on Thursday and the trend is expected to continue through Friday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • Dan Copeland, left, and Alex Morneau of Biddeford, Maine, former high school cheerleaders, perform back flips while enjoying the record breaking heat, Thursday, May 18, 2017, at Old Orchard Beach, Maine. The temperature climbed well into the 90s in many locations throughout the state. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Associated Press
Friday, May 19, 2017

Boston — Heat records were burning up on Thursday in cities in the Northeast as the region gets a summer preview.

The mercury reached 92 degrees in Boston shortly after noon Thursday, breaking the old record of 91 degrees for May 18 set in 1936, according to the National Weather Service.

The 81-year-old record for the day of 90 degrees also fell in New York City, where it was still 91 degrees in Central Park shortly before 4 p.m.

Temperatures were in the 90s across the Upper Valley on Thursday. According to The Weather Channel, Lebanon hit 93 on Thursday, just missing the record 94, set in 1989. Wednesday’s high of 89 also barely missed 1989’s record of 90, according to The Weather Channel.

It was the second straight day of midsummer-like conditions in the Northeast, though forecasters said a cooling trend would move in today and return the region to more seasonable conditions.

The warmth came just days after much of the region endured a cold, rainy Mother’s Day weekend.

Heat-starved locals in Jamestown, R.I., took advantage of the warm weather Thursday to eat lunch at restaurants with outdoor patios.

Mary Ann Williamson and Peggy Schreiner went out to eat to celebrate Williamson’s recent retirement. Schreiner said the weather was “spectacular.” Not minding the heat, they chatted to extend their time outside.

“As long as it’s not a rainy summer, I’ll be happy. I was worried about that,” Williamson said.

Other places where records fell included Hartford, Conn., where temperatures reached 94 degrees, and in Providence, R.I., where it hit 93.

In Maine, where records also fell throughout the state, the Department of Environmental Protection issued an air-quality alert through 11 p.m. on Thursday.

In Boston, the National Park Service said on Twitter that the Bunker Hill Monument, a major Revolutionary War tourist attraction, was closed to visitors for a time because of the heat.

Alan Dunham, a meteorologist at the Massachusetts office of the weather service, said 90-plus degree heat in mid-May was unusual in the Northeast, but far from unheard of.

And because dew points were low, Dunham said the heat did not feel nearly as oppressive as it might when humidity levels are much higher in July or August.

“As they say out west, it’s a dry heat,” he said.

Matt McKenna, from Holliston, Mass., was taking a break from work at the Boston Harbor Hotel. As he sat on a bench at Rowe’s Wharf, he wondered what happened to spring.

“It seems like we just skipped over it, went straight into summer,” said McKenna, who admitted to not being a huge fan of hot weather.

“I like the cold, I’m a snow guy,” he said.

As they relaxed in their boat in Westmore, Vt., Kurt and Alison Harrison recalled that about a year ago when they vacationed in the same spot, it was snowing. On Thursday, temperatures hovered near 90.

“There’s no humidity up here ... it’s so nice,” Alison Harrison said.

Despite temperatures in the 90s in Concord, thousands of people took to the streets on Thursday evening for the Merrimack County Savings Bank Rock ‘N Race. The 95-degree temperature on Thursday afternoon in Concord easily beat a 111-year-old record.

The temperature on Thursday soared 4 degrees above the previous high for May 18, set at 90 degrees in 1906 and 1889.

Organizers for the Rock ‘N Race doubled up on the water along the 3.1-mile course and had an extra ambulance on hand as well additional medical staff.