Northeast and Midwest U.S. flirt with record high temps

Tuesday, March 13, 2012
By Paul Martin
March 13, 2012

MINNESOTA – Temperatures soared to record highs in the Northeast on Monday after a weekend of record-setting warmth across the Upper Plains and forecasts for an unprecedented extended warm front this week, the National Weather Service said. In Boston, temperatures reached a record 71 degrees Monday afternoon, eclipsing the former high of 69 degrees for this date set 110 years ago, the weather service said. The unseasonably warm weather was expected to continue in Boston throughout the week, but likely not with record setting temperatures, said Bill Simpson, a weather service meteorologist based in Taunton, Massachusetts. Temperatures also soared Monday afternoon in New York City to near the record 71 degrees in Central Park. In Washington, above-average temperatures meant cherry trees blossomed sooner than expected ahead of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, one of the biggest U.S. springtime parties, which begins on March 20. Florets were extending on Monday, but peak bloom is expected to fall some time from March 24 to 28, still within the original forecast. Minnesotans accustomed to mid-March snowstorms instead basked in record high temperatures in the mid-60s last weekend and more records may fall under an unprecedented extended warm front, weather service meteorologist Byron Paulson said. The high temperature reached 66 degrees on Saturday and Sunday in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, topping previous records for those dates set in 1878 and 1902 respectively in climate records that run back to 1871. Record high temperature were recorded across the upper Midwest over the weekend with temperatures punching into the 70s in Bismarck, North Dakota, and across southern Minnesota and eastern Wisconsin, according to the weather service. –Reuters

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