Springlike Warmth Breaks Records Across The Northeast
Less than a week after a frigid start to February, springlike warmth broke numerous temperature records across the Northeast, calling into question Punxsutawney Phil’s Feb. 2 prognostication. The groundhog declared six more weeks of winter, but it has felt more like late March in recent days. The warm weather will not be long-lived, though, AccuWeather meteorologists say.
A major turnaround began on Sunday as temperatures across the Northeast soared into the 50s during the afternoon. In fact, the surge of milder air helped Boston set a record for the largest temperature rise over a 36-hour period. Beantown went from 9 degrees below zero Fahrenheit on Feb. 4 at around 5:54 a.m. to 50 degrees around 1:54 p.m. on Feb. 5. That temperature swing of 59 degrees beat the city’s previous 36-hour record of 54, which occurred from Jan. 31, 1951, to Feb. 1, 1951.
An area of high pressure that set up off the Southeast coast allowed warm air from the Gulf of Mexico to be pumped into the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states for several days this week. By Thursday, several locations had broken daily high-temperature records and many wondered where winter had gone.
“Warm enough to sit on the patio watching the clouds race by,” one Twitter user in Cleveland, Ohio, wrote. “Been a strange winter weather-wise.”
In Clarksburg, West Virginia, the temperature reached 77 degrees on Feb. 9, breaking the old record set over 80 years ago at 75 degrees. At least two other locations in West Virginia recorded record-breaking high temperatures on Thursday.
Another temperature record was broken in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Thursday when the mercury reached 75 degrees, which broke the old record of 74 degrees, set in 1994.
In Baltimore, Maryland, the temperature reached 68 degrees on Thursday, which was just a degree shy of tying the record for the date. Nevertheless, temperatures were still 25 degrees above average on Thursday in Baltimore.
On Friday morning, temperatures across the Northeast were more typical for late March rather than the heart of winter. As the sun rose on Friday, Boston was 4 degrees higher than Houston, Texas, and New York City was trending about 25-30 degrees above average.
Before the morning commute was over on Friday morning, several daily high-temperatures records were already broken across the Northeast.
At New York City’s official weather station in Central Park, where weather data has been reported for the city since 1869, the daily high-temperature record for Feb. 10 is 61 degrees, which was set in 2001. Just before 6 a.m. local time on Friday, the mercury reached 61 degrees, tying the previous record.
At the Islip National Weather Service office, which is located just outside of New York City, on Long Island, the daily high-temperature record for Feb. 10 was broken just after 8 a.m., when the temperature reached 57 degrees. This broke the old record of 56 degrees, which was set just last year.
At Laguardia Airport in New York City, a temperature of 60 degrees was recorded just before 6 a.m. Friday, which ties the 2001 daily high-temperature record.
Record high temperatures were confirmed in Hartford, Connecticut, Providence, Rhode Island, and Worcester, Massachusetts, on Friday morning, according to the Boston NWS office.
“And it was 40 below zero last weekend,” a Twitter user said in response to Boston’s NWS tweet. “Welcome to New England.”
In Atlantic City, New Jersey, the high-temperature record was preliminarily broken when the mercury reached 62 degrees just before 9 a.m. on Feb. 10. Once the NWS confirms the record, it will break the old record of 60 degrees, which was set back in 2001.
The high-temperature record was also preliminarily tied on Thursday and broken on Friday in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Temperatures just after midnight Friday reached 63 degrees, which, once confirmed by the NWS, will break the record of 60 degrees that was set in 1993.
Although more locations across the Northeast have the chance of breaking their high-temperature record before the sun sets on Friday, AccuWeather meteorologists warn that a weekend storm will deliver cooler weather.
AccuWeather Meteorologist Jeffrey Nordeen said due to an upper-level low-pressure system, cooler air will be ushered into the eastern U.S. this weekend. Combined with a low-pressure system strengthening off the Southeast coast, the cold weather will allow wintry precipitation to fall across parts of the Southeast.
By Sunday, the storm system will track farther north, bringing heavy rain and cooler temperatures from Philadelphia to Boston.
Produced in association with AccuWeather.