Boston Temperature Tops 100 F

By Phillip Martin

Jul. 22, 2011

A girl lies down in a fountain in Wharf District Park to beat the heat. (Luke Boelitz for WGBH)

BOSTON — An "excessive heat warning" is in effect for Central and Eastern Massachusetts until Friday evening with the temperature in Boston hitting 102 degrees F by midday. Meanwhile, Mayor Thomas M. Menino has extended a heat advisory for Boston until Saturday.

The National Weather Service said the heat index could climb to 107 degrees before the day is out. Municipal and state officials are warning elderly people, in particular, to take great precautions by drinking plenty of water. Municipal workers are fanning out across Boston and other cities to check on the welfare of thousands of seniors. 

On Thursday, 92-year-old Sylvia Bridgeman left Cambridge Senior center at the end of a scorching day marked by temperatures that match her age.   

Children cool off at the Brighton/Allston public swimming pool. (Kane Stanton for WGBH).

"It’s really nice in there," Bridgeman said.

The folks who run this center surveyed the older patrons to make sure that they will also be protected from the heat at home, by supplying fans, and dispensing advice to neighbors to check up on the seniors next door.

Meanwhile, municipalities from Cape Cod to Western Massachusetts have opened cooling centers and extended pool  hours in response to the July heat wave. But if you have to be in the heat, you also have to come up with other ways of staying cool.

"I like it like in the 80’s. In the 90s, that’s too hot. Feel like you’re going to pass out," said Steve Latorella, a parking enforcement officer giving out tickets on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge.

But he says he has a sure fire way to stay safe on days like this.

"Usually you take shorter breaks, but you take more of them. You drink more water and you stay in the shade," Latorella said.

Not Mark Harnois. The carpenter and his buddy James Oliver say they just love it.

"It's part of summer. We wait all winter for it. Get outside. Hey it gets cold in the winter. It gets cold," Harnois said.

It’s all a matter of perspective says Harnois; a perspective that is being tested in 100 degree weather. 

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