A November heat wave shatters high-temperature records across New England
A November heat wave shattered temperature records across New England over the weekend.
Hartford, Conn. reached 78 degrees Saturday afternoon, breaking an old record of 76 degrees set in 1994, the National Weather Service said. Providence, R.I. got to 75 degrees and Worcester, Mass., reached 73 degrees – both of those readings tied records from 1994.
In Vermont, Burlington hit 76 degrees on Sunday, breaking a record of 75 in 1950 and setting an all-time high temperature for November. Record highs were also set Saturday and Sunday in Montpelier and St. Johnsbury.
In Maine, Augusta and Portland set records for November on Saturday, with temperatures of 76 and 75 degrees. Portland also set a record on Sunday for November's warmest low temperature, of 59 degrees.
Across the Northeast, record highs were set in New York state in Albany, Plattsburgh and Glens Falls.
Concord, New Hampshire also set daily temperature records Saturday and Sunday, reaching 78 degrees Saturday and 75 on Sunday.
New Hampshire’s state climatologist, Mary Stampone, said the warm weekend painted a picture of our changing climate.
“It's absolutely connected to anthropogenic climate change,” she said. “As our atmosphere warms, it's not only increasing the value of the higher temperatures, but it's also increasing the likelihood of extreme high temperatures.”
For November, Stampone says, daytime highs in the 70s count as “extreme high temperatures.”
These high November temperatures are connected to the broader pattern of climate change in the region, Stampone said. Winter is coming later. The first freeze and the first snowfall are getting pushed back.
That has major implications for ecosystems in New England. Delayed winter freezing interrupts plants’ lives, and could allow harmful insects to survive for longer. That includes ticks, which are beginning to overwhelm moose as winters warm.
“We need cold winters,” Stampone said. “Our ecosystems are adapted to these kinds of extreme cold winters that we're just not having anymore.”
The weather service cites southerly flow and an expansive high-pressure system centered offshore for the recent warm conditions.
The weather service says unseasonably warm weather will continue across the Northeast Monday, but expect cooler temperatures on Tuesday (Election Day) and Wednesday. Warmer weather returns Thursday and Friday.
Note: This post was updated on Monday, Nov 7, 2022, with additional weather data and reporting from NHPR’s Mara Hoplamazian and Maine Public’s Murray Carpenter.