The hottest weather in the nation was in an unlikely place Thursday afternoon: the Northeast.
Cities such as New York, Boston and Portland, Maine, soared into the low- to mid-90s and were hotter than the likes of Phoenix, Los Angeles and Miami.
At 3 p.m., Boston stood out as the hottest city in the nation — something that hardly ever happens. The mercury had risen to a scorching 95 degrees.
Connecticut, according to WeatherBell Analytics meteorologist Ryan Maue, was the warmest state in the nation.
Record highs were falling like flies in New England. Nearly every major city along Interstate 95 set a record for the date, and a few spots were closing in on monthly records.
Some of the records established Thursday afternoon:
- Newark hit 94, breaking a record of 90 from 1986
- LaGuardia Airport in New York hit 96, shattering the record of 86 from 1989 and just one from its monthly record high of 97.
- Central Park in New York hit 91, breaking the record of 90 from 1936
- Providence, R.I., hit 93, breaking the record of 92 from 1936
- Hartford, Conn., hit 96, breaking the record of 90 from 1936
- Boston (Logan Airport) hit 95, breaking the record of 91 from 1936 and tying for the third-hottest May reading on record
- Blue Hill Observatory just outside Boston hit 95, its hottest May day recorded back to 1885.
- Burlington, Vt., hit 93 degrees, breaking the record of 89 from 1989 and tying for the warmest May day on record.
- Concord, N.H., hit 94, shattering the record of 86 from 1906 and 1889.
- Portland hit 91, shattering the record of 82 from 1949
In a number of areas, temperatures were 20-plus degrees warmer than normal.
Thursday marked the second straight day of record heat in the eastern United States. On Wednesday, record highs were set from Florida to Vermont:
Here's a sampling of yesterday's record highs, there were certainly more than this. Tampa's is especially impressive–1° shy of all-time max pic.twitter.com/aPUUGAQTat
— MDA Weather Services (@MDA_Weather) May 18, 2017
The nation’s hottest weather had concentrated over the Northeast on Thursday because of a strong area of high pressure centered over the region.
In sharp contrast, unusually low pressure and a pool of cold air were centered over the western United States, supporting snowy weather in the Rockies.
The high-pressure dome bringing the heat to the Northeast was forecast to drift offshore by the weekend.
Boston’s forecast high on Saturday? 65 degrees — 30 degrees cooler than 48 hours before.