Is it spring already?
Boston reached 61 degrees Thursday morning and then kicked the mercury up to 62 in the afternoon, breaking a record high for the date that was initially set in 1882 and matched in 1910, according to the National Weather Service.
“With a west wind continuing, expecting temperatures to rise a few more” degrees, forecasters posted on Twitter around 10 a.m.
The unseasonably warm weather came on the heels of a record-breaking January, extending a long-range trend.
This year was no exception. December was unusually mild throughout New England, and seven states, including all six in the region, experienced the warmest January on record, federal data show. A record-breaking cold spell struck early this month, but the winter weather slipped away as quickly as it arrived.
Signs of this new normal are everywhere. Maple sugaring season, which usually begins in late February or early March, is sometimes starting in January, producers say. Ponds have failed to ice over, delaying skating seasons at Walpole Pond and Bartlet Mall Frog Pond.
Ski resorts have been forced to rely more on artificial snow — or even suspend operations for weeks, as was the case for the popular Mad River Glen resort in Waitsfield, Vt., this year. And this month, three ice fishermen died after falling through ice in Vermont, where ponds have historically been frozen solid in February.
Providence also set a record high Thursday, the weather service said. The record, last set in 1910 at 60 degrees, was broken at 9:22 a.m. Thursday when the mercury rose to 62 degrees, the weather service said. The temperature kept climbing until it hit 71 degrees, setting a new mark.
“Providence broke the high temperature for the day by 11 degrees,” forecasters posted on Twitter. “The new record is 71, the old record was 60 set way back in 1910. 11 degrees, WOW!”
Providence broke the high temperature for the day by 11 degrees. The new record is 71, the old record was 60 set way back in 1910. 11 degrees, WOW!— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) February 16, 2023
At 12:26 p.m., the weather service confirmed an area of Rhode Island had hit 70 degrees, while Boston temps had crawled up to 62.
“Lunch outdoors? Despite a thick canopy of cirrus clouds, widespread temps in the 60s, with Quonset, RI the warm spot at 70!” the weather service tweeted. “New #records already set at #Boston & #Providence! Temps may climb another deg or two, so not done yet.”
The tweet included a graphic showing the afternoon temperature in Boston had reached 62. It was a tad warmer in Marshfield in the early afternoon, where the temperature was hovering at 64.
[Noon Temps] Lunch outdoors? Despite a thick canopy of cirrus clouds, widespread temps in the 60s, with Quonset, RI the warm spot at 70! New #records already set at #Boston & #Providence! Temps may climb another deg or two, so not done yet. #Breaking #MAwx #RIwx #CTwx #Hartford pic.twitter.com/QR5ZmZctvB— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) February 16, 2023
Material from prior Globe stories was used in this report. Globe correspondent Nick Stoico contributed.