Heat waves shimmered over Boston’s red bricks on Friday as the mercury rose to a sizzling 94, just two degrees shy of the city’s record high.
But the humidity made it feel even hotter than the record of 96 degrees, set back in 1944, said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton.
Despite the oppressive temperature, which prompted Mayor Thomas M. Menino to issue a weather advisory Friday morning, there were few heat-related medical problems throughout the city, hospital and city officials said.
“People in Boston generally tend to prepare themselves well for hot and cold weather,” said John M. Guilfoil, a spokesman for the mayor.
Of the city’s major hospitals, Massachusetts General Hospital said it admitted four people with a variety of heat symptoms including fever, nausea, and cramps, said spokesman Ryan Donovan.
Those who could not escape to the relative oasis of Nantucket, which saw a high of just 69, flocked to beaches, spray decks, and wading pools.
In anticipation of the stifling heat, the city called in lifeguards to staff eight spray decks, two wading pools, and 13 beaches, said S.J. Port, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.
At Revere beach, families with young children flocked to the shore, said Bob Upton, founder of reverebeach.com, an informational website about the public beach.
“I had a couple call me from the western part of the state to make sure they would be able to park here,” he said, adding that after students were let out of school there was not an empty parking space to be seen.
The air is expected to be stickier on Saturday, as dew points continue to climb and the summer sun brings another round of temperatures at or above 90 degrees, he said.
On Sunday, Dunham said the weather is expected to cool slightly, though dewpoints will continue to remain elevated as a Bermuda High system, or large high pressure area, continues pumping tropical air from the southwest.
“It’s debatable whether we’ll hit the official heat wave” in Boston, he said. “But to most people, it will still feel hot and muggy.”
The high won’t last all day, though, as showers and thunderstorms from a low pressure system are expected to kick up through the evening.
Temperatures will begin to regulate into the 70s for Monday, coupled with showers and thunderstorms, according to Dunham.
Once the high pressure system and its muggy air moves out on Monday, temperatures are expected to return to a more normal high of 71 degrees lasting into Thursday of next week, Dunham said.