New England, eastern Canada bake under stifling heat wave

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Summer officially begins in the Northern Hemisphere on Saturday, June 20, at 5:43 p.m., but across parts of northern New England, a scorching heat wave has made it feel like summer made an early arrival this week.

The ongoing heat wave has produced temperatures about 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit above normal along with increasingly humid conditions.

Caribou, a northern city better known for piling up big snowfall totals during winter, tied its all-time high temperature on Friday when the mercury soared to 96 F. According to the National Weather Service, the reading tied the city’s all-time record high of 96 set on June 29, 1944, and reached again May 22, 1977.

The previous record for June 19 was 91. By 9 a.m. Friday, the city had already reached 82 degrees, the warmest the city has ever been at 9 a.m. on record for any date.

Several record highs were toppled in Maine as much of the state baked under 90-degree heat earlier in the week. On Thursday in Caribou, a new daily record high of 95 F was set, shattering the old record of 90 from 1955. In fact, according to the National Weather Service, since record-keeping began in Caribou on Jan. 16, 1939, there have only been nine days where the high temperature settled at 95.

The average high temperature for June 18 in Caribou is 72.

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, the city’s weather was more comparable to that of Sacramento, California. It’s a significant turnaround from the chilly start of June in Caribou when a high of 52 F was recorded on June 1 and a low of 31 F was reported June 2.

Farther south, in Houlton, the mercury reached 93 F, topping the record of 92 established in 1955.

Meteorologist Isaac Longley said the heat wave unfolded due to a large area of high pressure that set up over New England.

“While the Southeast and mid-Atlantic have been dealing with daily showers and thunderstorms over the past few days, locations in New England saw the mercury soar into the 90s under abundant sunshine,” Longley said. “With high pressure remaining largely in control of the pattern, the heat will stick around through early next week before a cold front finally cools things down by midweek.”

The heat spread across a large swath of New England.

Burlington, Vermont, hit 90 F on Thursday for the fourth time in 2020. Meanwhile, Atlanta hasn’t hit the 90-degree mark once so far this year.

meteorologists say Atlanta is going to have one of its latest first 90-degree days on record since temperatures aren’t expected to reach that mark through at least this weekend.
meteorologists say Atlanta is going to have one of its latest first 90-degree days on record since temperatures aren’t expected to reach that mark through at least this weekend.

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