Friday, July 05, 2013

We're having a heat wave

The Middlesex Superior Couthouse in Lowell is an old building (1848 and 1894) but there are ample window air conditioners to keep the temperature tolerable inside on days that are especially warm which is exactly what we have today.  In fact, with the outside temperature now above 90 degrees, we are officially in the middle of a heat wave (three or more consecutive days with temperatures above 90 degrees).  Since the forecast for the weekend calls for like temperatures through Sunday, we should have at least a five-day heat wave. 

WBZ-TV weather person Barry Burbank shared some historical information about Boston heat waves:
Boston’s longest heat wave of 9 days lasted from July 3-11 in 1912. The next 3 on the list are all 8 days long. August 11-18, 2002 was the most recent followed by July 19-26, 1994 then August 10-17, 1944. August 1988 was also brutal with a 4-day heat wave from the 3rd through the 6th followed by a 7-day heat wave on the 9th through the 15th.  It was the hottest August in 118 years featuring 11 days over 90 degrees bringing the 1988 total to 25 days which is double the average number.  More recently, July 2011 was the 2nd hottest July on record but, surprisingly, there was only 1 heat wave lasting 4 days. During that spell, there was a new record set on the 22nd of the month at 103 degrees! July 2010 was the third hottest July on record with two-3 day heat waves.  The longer the heat lingers, the greater the impact because it is accumulative and increasingly stressful to the human body.

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