July 2 (UPI) — Cities across the Pacific Northwest have spent the past week battling some of the highest temperatures they’ve ever seen. Meanwhile, across the country, cities in the Northeast sizzled as well due to a heat wave that swept through the region, sending temperatures soaring past 100 degrees Fahrenheit in some places.
In order to be officially considered a heat wave, an area must reach 90 degrees or higher for at least three consecutive days, which most major cities in the Northeast were able to achieve thus making this past week’s temperatures the second heat wave of the year for the region. Some were even able to keep the heat alive for more than three days.
With RealFeel® temperatures factored in, some Northeastern cities felt even hotter than the recorded temperatures. Some places had a RealFeel® temperature of over 105 degrees.
“[The heat] was noticeable, and the humidity was quite high… so from a comfort standpoint, it was a very uncomfortable air mass,” AccuWeather meteorologist David Dombek said.
Boston broke or tied three records in a row on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Wednesday, the city reached 100 degrees, breaking the daily record for June 28 and tying the monthly record for June.
Newark, N.J., also broke record after record throughout the city’s four-day heat wave. Newark either broke or tied three records in a row on June 28 with 98 degrees, June 29 with 102 degrees and June 30 with 103 degrees. The 103-degree day is now the hottest June day on record in the city.
New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore all fell short of breaking any records by a few degrees, with Philadelphia just being shy by a single degree.
While the heat wave across the region broke over most cities on Thursday, the heat wave continues in Washington, D.C., with five consecutive days over 90 degrees.
While a handful of records were broken or tied during this heat wave, Dombek said the weather event the Northeast just experienced was not a historic one to be remembered.
“It’s not that unusual to get a stretch of hot, humid weather like that,” Dombek said. “At the end of June, that’s certainly not out of the question.”
Despite the scorching heat in the middle of the week, temperatures in the Northeast will begin to cool down just in time for the holiday weekend.
“After several of days of hot weather with records breaking, a cold front will continue to progress slowly southeastward through the weekend for cooler weather,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Matt Rinde.
The highs on Friday and Saturday will be a stark contrast to what the region has endured thus far this week. In Boston, temperatures could be up to 33 degrees lower on Friday when compared to Wednesday.
Saturday has the lowest temperatures forecast across the region during this cooldown, according to Dombek. Philadelphia and New York City are currently forecast to be no higher than the low to mid-70s.
The region, stretching all the way from New England to the mid-Atlantic, could be at risk of more showers and thunderstorms over the Fourth of July weekend; however, they are forecast to be spottier than the storms that swept the region on Thursday.
“This could certainly disrupt some holiday weekend plans with rainfall, but hopefully Sunday will see enough improvement to get through most of the events for the day,” Rinde said.
On Sunday, temperatures will likely begin to creep back up but still remain below average on the Fourth of July.
The region is forecast to experience more hot and humid weather next week.