Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Record New England Heat: Even Hotter Today Than I Thought It Would Be

Daffodils were starting to come up in my yard Tuesday
in St. Albans, Vermont. I didn't get a chance
to check on them today, but I bet they grew
a lot today in record warm temperatures in the 60s. 

Unbelievable! The temperature at Burlington, Vermont actually bumped up a bit after dark just ahead of a cold front.

After 8 p.m. this evening, the temperature rose to 69 in Burlington, so the record high today is 69, not 68


Record high temperatures were smashed across New England today as a big wave of warm air swept over the region.

It was even hotter than I - and some other forecasters - had predicted.

Up near me in Burlington, Vermont, it got up to 68 degrees, breaking the old record of 66 degrees set in 2002 and 2000.

This was the warmest for so early in the season. It's incredible, too, what a short time period it was since it was last this warm, considering it's been winter

Remember, it was also 68 degrees in Burlington on Christmas Eve, a record high for the entire month of December.

I helped a friend load a moving truck today and I never thought I'd work up a huge sweat while wearing a t-shirt outdoors in early March.

Montpelier also broke a record high for today's date with at least 66 degrees (It might have gone up a degree or so after I wrote this. The old record for the date in Montpelier was 61 degrees.

It was even more summery in southern Vermont. Rutland got up to  72 degrees and Bennington, a whopping 76 degrees.

Normal high temperatures this year are in the 30s to low 40s.

Elsewhere in the Northeast, records fell like crazy today, too.  It was 81 degrees at Connecticut's Bradley Airport, near Hartford. I believe this is the earliest on record it's reached 80 degrees in New England.

Boston set a record high of 77, as did New York City's  Central Park.

It's going to turn a little cooler over the next few days -- it can't possibly get warmer this time of year, but temperatures will generally be way above normal for most of the next week.

Before it does turn a bit cooler, more record highs are possible Thursday in far southern New England and the Middle Atlantic States in advance of a slow moving cold front heading south toward that region.

Here in Vermont, it'll turn just somewhat above normal Friday with highs in the low 40s, but we pop right back up into the 50s over the weekend, which is normal for April, not March.  The warmth will generally hang on into the middle of next week at least.

Today's warmth really melted frozen ground fast, so Vermont's dirt roads quickly became mires of mud. When ground thaws, water collects above a remaining still frozen layer several inches down. The result is impassable roads.  It's turning out to be a pretty bad mud season. 

I'm also worried about Vermont's maple sugar industry. If this warm weather keeps up, the season will be cut short. If maple trees start to bud out, the sap becomes unsuitable for making syrup, and the season would be over.

We'll see on that one.

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