Chill Out About the Heat Wave, Boston

Even though we might break a record this week, this happens all the time.

the heat wave is coming,business man holding a electric fan

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It’s hot. This is not breaking news.

But it’s staying hot, and when it stays this hot this long, it’s a heat wave. And we’re stuck with it for now.

Temperatures were inching up closer to the 90 degree mark in Boston on Wednesday morning, and if we get past it, this would make day seven crossing that hot and sticky threshold. If it’s above 90 again on Thursday and Friday, Boston would tie its record for longest heat wave ever recorded, at nine days, set in 1912.

Is 90 an arbitrary number of degrees, and is the fact that it’s a “heat wave” of basically no consequence to you or neighbors and loved ones? Who’s to say. Records are cool though, right?

Chill, says Bill Simpson, spokesman and meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Taunton.

“It’s normal to have these kinds of ups and downs in the summer, but what is a little unusual is not having that break in the weather, which will happen late Friday or Saturday,” Simpson says. “It’s not that unusual. … This happens.”

Simpson also isn’t having this talk about links to the very real big-picture threat of climate change based on a few days of weather, or on the relative dampness of button-ups on the Orange Line, to which this reporter can testify.

“It’s not fair to take these short term trends and extrapolate out the long term,” he says. The jet stream is snaking its way through Canada right now and will find its way back down soon enough. Here’s something to worry about instead: water.

“We’re certainly way below normal,” he says of the season’s rainfall.

Two-thirds of an inch of rain has fallen in July, according to measurements taken at Logan Airport. That number should be about 2.8 inches. Only two inches of rain have fallen here since June 1. It should have been six-point-five inches.

But, again, from the National Weather Service’s Bill Simpson:

“None of this is really record-breaking,” he says. “It’s certainly a low trend for precip’ and high trend for temps.”