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Northeast swelters in a record-setting July

Boston heat
During the first week of July, Boston set a temperature record of 98 degrees.

US city forecasts

July 14, 1999
Web posted at: 12:28 p.m. EDT (1628 GMT)


If scorching temperatures keep up, the northeastern United States is on track for the hottest July since 1955. During the first six days of the month, major cities in the region broke or tied 31 high-temperature records.

"We're off to a good start, that's for sure," said Keith Eggleston, senior climatologist at the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University. "Right now, it is too early to make a judgment call whether this July is going to be the hottest or not."

Eggleston pointed out that with more than half the month remaining, lower temperatures could moderate the month's blazing start.

During the first week of July, Philadelphia's temperature increased 8.3 degrees Fahrenheit higher than normal. Boston, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., were an average 6.7 F hotter than usual, based on a 30-year average. And Newark, N.J., heated up 7.8 F more than usual for the same week.

These increases set a record in Boston of 98 F. Newark also set a record the day after Independence Day of 103 F and the same day, Philadelphia tied its 1919 record of 100 F. Temperatures reaching 102 F welcomed travelers flying into New York's John F. Kennedy airport.

An all-time record was set in Islip, N.Y., July 5 when the mercury hit 102 F, one degree higher than the 1991 record. Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va., set records two days in a row: On July 5, 102 F beat an 80-year-old record of 101 F and the next day, a scorching 103 F easily beat the 22-year-old record of 100 F.

To understand just how hot these cities have gotten, climatologists looked at the 12-state region's last blazing hot July in 1955. The average temperature for that month was 74 F, which was 4.4 F warmer than July's usual 68.6 F.

Early July's record-breaking temperatures follow in the wake of the 16th warmest June in the Northeast. June averaged 2.2 F above the 30-year normal, well below the month's 1943 record when the temperature was 69.3 F, 4.5 F warmer than normal.

Copyright 1999, Environmental News Network, All Rights Reserved

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Cornell University high July temperatures
Northeast Regional Climate Center
The National Center for Atmospheric Research
National Weather Service
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