Wednesday felt more like midsummer across the Northeast with numerous cities and towns breaking record highs. A few places in southern New England even set or tied record highs for May.
Temperatures on Wednesday exceeded typical late May highs by 15 to 25 degrees across much of the Northeast. Highs approached or surpassed the 90-degree mark with a ridge of high pressure overhead.
The core of the warmth was centered from the southern St. Lawrence Valley to southern New England.
Within this corridor, temperatures soared into the mid- to upper 90s. That means that many places were hotter than Phoenix, Ariz., which had a high of 94 degrees on Wednesday.
Wednesday's heat caused Hartford, Conn.; Providence, R.I.; and Worcester, Mass., to experience their warmest May temperatures on record.
The following gives Wednesday's actual high temperatures for each of these cities. The previous May record high is given in parenthesis.
--Hartford, Conn.: 99 degrees (ties the record from May 20, 1996)
--Providence, R.I.: 96 degrees (95 degrees set on May 31, 1944)
--Worcester, Mass.: 94 degrees (92 degrees set on May 31, 1944)
Numerous other cities and towns across the Northeast set daily record highs on Wednesday. A sampling of these records is listed below with the old record in parenthesis.
--Massena, N.Y.: 96 degrees (88 degrees from 1978)
--Islip, N.Y.: 92 degrees (86 degrees from 2007)
--Wilmington, Del.: 92 degrees (91 degrees from 1914)
--Burlington, Vt.: 92 degrees (89 degrees from 1978)
--Syracuse, N.Y.: 90 degrees (89 degrees from 1978)
The midsummerlike heat helped ignite severe thunderstorms from the border of New York and Vermont to southern New England late in the day. The strongest thunderstorms unleashed damaging winds and hail.
As more seasonable air graces New England and upstate New York today, the threat for potentially damaging thunderstorms will shift to southern New York and the mid-Atlantic.
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