The NWS predicts Boston will have high temperatures of 96 degrees on Sunday. The daily high for that day is 93 degrees, while the monthly high for May is 97 degrees, set back on May 26, 1880.
Boston records are kept at Logan International Airport, which is right by the ocean, so these temperatures tend to be milder than temperatures further inland. And if the sea breeze sets in in the right direction, it could keep temperatures at the airport from hitting record highs.
In Worcester, Mass., daily highs for Saturday and Sunday are 88 and 90 degrees, respectively, but this weekend’s forecast is expected to smash them.
The maximum predicted for Saturday is 96 degrees, breaking not only the daily record but also the monthly record of 94 degrees set in 2010.
“We’re definitely a little ahead of schedule,” said Matthew Belk, a meteorologist at the NWS office in Boston. “The first average 90 degree day in Boston is June 8. It’s a little earlier when you go out to Hartford [Connecticut]May 30 is usually the first average 90 degree day.”
This weekend’s early-season heat wave is due to high pressure off the east coast, driving southerly winds pushing warm, moist air into the northeast, bringing temperatures of 20 30 degrees above normal for this time of year.
But it’s not just New England that will face extreme temperatures this weekend. Record temperatures will also be felt in the I-95 corridor, including New York, Washington, DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia.
Half the population feels the heat
Nearly 170 million people, or about 52% of the U.S. population in the lower 48, will feel 90-degree heat over the next few days.
“More than half of the American population will see temperatures at or above 90 degrees this weekend – and it’s only May,” CNN’s Pedram Javaheri said.
For some regions, it’s not just the heat, but also the humidity that will bring “lookalike” temperatures into the triple digits.
Richmond, Virginia and Philadelphia are expecting a high of 97 degrees on Saturday, but thanks to the humidity it will be more like 100.
In nearby Baltimore, the 147th Preakness Stakes will take place. Luckily, the 7:01 p.m. posting time won’t be the height of the day, but it will still be very hot. The expected temperature at the start of the race is 91 degrees.
“Saturday is expected to be the hottest day of the weekend, with many places hitting the mid-90s and heat indices approaching 100,” the NWS office in Baltimore/Washington said. “As many outdoor events are scheduled for this weekend in the area, be aware of the heat and take extra precautions if working or spending time outdoors this weekend.
As if the heat wave wasn’t enough, the mid-Atlantic and northeast also have the potential for severe storms this weekend.
A cold front will produce isolated severe thunderstorms with both high winds and hail as the main threats.
Heat is the number one killer
Even though the calendar doesn’t say it’s summer yet, Mother Nature has other plans, so it’s important to be aware of the dangers of this heat wave. For example, never leave children or pets in a hot car. Already.
“As this will be the first heat wave of the year, it’s important to be really aware to make sure you’re aware of any symptoms related to illness or heatstroke and to be especially careful. with them and having extra water on hand to combat that and the importance of shade,” Aaron Swiggett, meteorologist at the NWS office in Raleigh.
Swiggett also points out that the predicted temperatures are actually for shade, not full sun. So keep in mind that your predicted high temperatures are actually going to feel even hotter in direct sunlight.
Skeen stresses that it’s important to take the heat seriously.
“Make sure to hydrate, stay in the shade, protect yourself from the sun when possible,” Skeen said. “And keep an eye out for the people in your life who are more heat sensitive, like the young and old and those who might be compromised.”
The good news is that this heat wave is short-lived. Once the cold front crosses the east coast on Monday, temperatures will drop back into the 60s and 70s for the northeast and mid-Atlantic.