Friday 9 AM
This video shows the basis for predicting the break in the heat, as well as what may happen early next week.
On this map of the barometric pressure pattern, the basic flow is from the west-southwest. This flow will bring air downhill from the Appalachians to the East Coast. When unsaturated air descends, it warms about 5 1/2 degrees per thousand feet. This will add to the heat in the major I-95 cities today. The same wind direction over Lake Erie brings the most intense lake-effect snow right into Buffalo. However, in summer, the lake cools the air. So, while surrounding areas have been in 90s the last few days, it stayed in the 80s downwind from Lake Erie.
I mentioned snow a moment ago. It may be just a coincidence, but some of today's record highs were set in 1977. The following winter brought heavy snow to the I-95 corridor from Philadelphia to Boston, and included the Blizzard of '78 in Providence and Boston. Saturday Night Fever also came out that winter but it did not snow in that movie (although there was the glittering light created by disco balls).
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Rainy from DC to NYC today