June 21, 2020

New England And Eastern Canada Will Keep On Sweating Through Midweek


The second heat wave to bake New England and eastern Canada in recent weeks will continue through the first half of this week. Caribou, Maine, tied its all-time record high temperature on Friday, and heat index values climbed above 100°F deep into Quebec and the Maritime provinces. The southern-style summertime heat will continue through midweek across most of the region.

Temperatures during the peak of the heat wave climbed into the mid- to upper-90s dug deep into Quebec—you know, those classically toasty environs—punctuating how freakishly warm it got across areas where the pinnacle of summer heat usually isn't much worse than a typical August morning down south.

Caribou is about as far north as you can go in New England without crossing the border or getting lost in the forest. The city tied their all-time record high temperature on Friday, June 19, reaching 96°F for only the third time since records began in the early 1900s. The high temperature in Caribou has been at least 10°F above average since June 16, and the National Weather Service's forecast shows that continuing through Wednesday, June 24, before things return closer to normal.
Temperatures in Caribou, Maine
June 16, 2020 — June 24, 2020
Date Obs/Fcst High Avg High Anomaly
June 16 84°F 72°F +12°F
June 17 87°F 73°F +14°F
June 18 95°F 73°F +22°F
June 19 96°F 73°F +23°F
June 20 93°F 73°F +20°F
June 21 86°F 73°F +13°F
June 22 87°F 73°F +14°F
June 23 89°F 73°F +16°F
June 24 85°F 74°F +11°F
June 25 80°F 74°F +6°F
Sources: xmACIS2 / NWS
One thing you quickly learn about the weather is that patterns repeat themselves more often than you'd think. The Mid-Atlantic has seen frequent periods of gloomy, chilly, rainy weather for the past couple of months. The Rockies and Pacific Northwest have seen several intense severe weather events recently. And portions of New England and eastern Canada have been the target of (relatively) intense heat twice in the last few weeks. 

At the end of last month, Montreal saw its hottest temperature ever recorded when the high on May 27 reached 98°F. That heat wave lasted just a couple of days, covering many of the same areas experiencing long-term heat this time around.
Source: Tropical Tidbits

The current heat wave is the result of a stubborn pattern over North America that's kept an upper-level ridge of high pressure pinned in place over New England and eastern Canada. The model animation above shows the progression of the ridge from June 16 through its expected break later this week. Temperatures will drop closer to normal by the end of the week, the change bringing with it some much-needed rain. (The warm and dry spell of late allowed abnormally dry conditions to creep into 30 percent of the Northeast in recent weeks.)


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I graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2014 with a degree in political science and a minor in meteorology. I ran Gawker's The Vane for two years and I've contributed to Mental Floss, Forbes, Popular Science, and the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang. I also teamed up with Outdoor Life to write a book called The Extreme Weather Survival Manual, which came out in October 2015.

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