Temperatures reached historic highs in Boston and Worcester Thursday, with the Hub setting a record and the state’s second-largest city tying a high mark as intense heat continued throughout much of Massachusetts, meteorologists said.
The temperature at Logan International Airport reached 96 degrees at 3:10 p.m., topping the previous record for the day in Boston, set in 1949, when the high was 95, according to the National Weather Service in Taunton.
Weather Service meteorologist Benjamin Sipprell said Thursday’s high in Worcester of 91 degrees tied a record for the day in that city set in 1953.
Also Thursday, the mercury hit 92 in Falmouth and Nantucket, 93 on Martha’s Vineyard and in Provincetown, and 98 in Springfield and Taunton, Sipprell said.
Temperatures are expected to remain in the low- to mid-90s in many parts of the state on Friday and cool over the weekend, according to the Weather Service, but not without a price.
Heavy rains are possible late Friday into Saturday morning, which could result in flash flooding in isolated areas, Sipprell said. He did not have information on specific areas that are threatened.
“That’s one of the main threats we’re going to be watching out for,” Sipprell said. “The drying will take place late Saturday.”
Temperatures in some areas may have felt as high as 105 degrees at times Thursday because of the humidity, said Weather Service meteorologist Alan Dunham.
That apparently prompted droves of people to cool off at a number of state-operated beaches and wading pools that were staffed with lifeguards this week ahead of schedule.
SJ Port, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, said parking lots were full at several sites Wednesday and Thursday, including Nantasket Beach Reservation in Hull, three beaches in South Boston, and Hopkinton State Park.
On Thursday, a lifeguard at Carson Beach in South Boston rescued a teenage girl who went underwater and did not immediately resurface, according to Port. She said the girl did not require medical attention.
And in Boston, about 300 more people than usual took advantage of open swims at 15 of the city’s 17 pools on Wednesday and Thursday, said Sandy Holden, a spokeswoman for the Boston Centers for Youth and Families.
Jennifer Mehigan,a spokeswoman for Boston Emergency Medical Services, said EMS workers saw an 11 percent increase in call volume on Wednesday and were expecting similar numbers Thursday, though it is unclear how many calls were directly related to the weather.
A spokesman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino said Thursday that the city brought two homeless people off the street over the last two days. Menino issued a heat advisory on Wednesday.
Utility companies serving Massachusetts reported scattered outages, and at least some of the outages were weather-related.
Michael Durand, a spokesman for NStar, said a small fraction of the company's 1.1 million customers lost power, mostly in the late afternoon, with the largest outage affecting 2,100 customers in Waltham.
NStar has reached near-record levels of power usage during the intense heat, according to spokeswoman Margaret Coughlan.
A spokeswoman for National Grid said the largest outage during the day affected 920 customers in Scituate about 3 p.m., though it was unclear if it was weather-related.
National Grid reported on its website just after midnight on Friday that 501 customers were without power, mostly in Essex and Middlesex counties.