Metro

Yes, it has been a very long, hot, dry summer

BOSTON, MA - 7/23/2016: Francky Andrebil (cq) enjoys the breeze across Boston Harbor while standing just off the Head Island Causeway in South Boston. Mayor Marty Walsh declared a heat emergency Friday and temperatures remained in the 90s on Saturday. (Timothy Tai for The Boston Globe)

The Boston Globe

A person enjoyed the breeze across Boston Harbor while standing just off the Head Island Causeway in South Boston.

It’s official! This summer in Boston was the driest ever recorded and the month of August the hottest ever measured.

Just 3.92 inches of rain fell in the city during meteorological summer, which runs from the start of June through the end of August.

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That beat the previous record low of 3.97 inches of rain for the season, which was set in 1957.

Meanwhile, last month was the hottest August Boston has ever endured, according to National Weather Service records, which go back to 1872

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The month’s average daily temperature in the city was 76.4 degrees. The previous record for the warmest August was 75.5 degrees, set in 1988.

Boston has had only 10 other months in which the average temperature was 76 or higher (all of them were the month of July, which has historically been the warmest month of the year), according to the records. The warmest was July 1982, when the mercury averaged 78 degrees.

Overall, the summer of 2016 wasn’t the hottest ever, but it wasn’t far off.

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The average daily temperature for the season was 73.7 degrees, which tied with 2010 as the fourth warmest summer on record. The hottest ever was 74.1 degrees, a mark reached in both 1949 and 1983.

The hottest stretch this year came in late July, when the high temperature measured at Logan International Airport reached 90 or more from July 21 through 26. That was part of a 16-day stretch that included 11 days when the temperature reached 90 or more.

Other parts of the state may well have been even hotter than the airport, which is cooled by Boston Harbor breezes.

The hottest stretch in August came in the middle of the month, from Aug. 11 through Aug. 15, when temperatures reached 90 or more four out of the five days.

A parched Massachusetts is suffering its worst drought in more than a decade. The drought has damaged crops, dried up rivers, taken a toll on wildlife, and kept firefighters on high alert amid elevated risk of wildfires.

The drought has also prompted many communities to impose restrictions on outdoor water use, rules that some residents have skirted.

We have plenty of company when it comes to unusually hot weather.

July went down as the warmest month the world has collectively experienced in the 136 years scientists have been tracking global temperatures. And it marked the 10th straight month of record warmth, putting 2016 on track to be the hottest year ever recorded globally, the Globe recently reported.

Climate specialists said the pattern is an unmistakable sign of human-caused global warming.

Now, we’re on toward fall, and thankfully some relief.

Temperatures are forecast to be a bit cooler — in the mid- to low- 70s — this weekend.

And there might be some rain as well. Forecasters are closely monitoring Hurricane Hermine, which they say could eventually bring heavy rain and gusty winds to the area.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at matthew.rocheleau @globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mrochele
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