Boston weather records that are still standing

Snow was lingering for this person and her dog Monday at Carson Beach in Boston.
David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
Snow was lingering for this person and her dog Monday at Carson Beach in Boston.

There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with a weather milestone. Climatological extremes are uncomfortable at best, and downright dangerous at worst, so it’s nice to have our collective experience count for something.

Of course, those records are lot more attractive when they’re within reach. Who would have asked last fall for 108.6 inches of snow?

The snowfall record we broke this difficult winter stood for less than two decades. The annals of Boston weather contain many longer-standing and more extreme meteorological records. Here, courtesy of the Northeast Regional Climate Center, are some of the most stubborn — and scary.


Highest temperature

104 degrees - July 4, 1911
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Background: A normal July day in Boston has a high around 81. A normal July day in Phoenix is around 106.

Lowest temperature

Minus 18 degrees - Feb 9, 1934

Background: The average February low in Boston is about 25 degrees. The coldest temperature observed last month in Fairbanks, Alaska, was minus 20.

Hottest summer

Average temperature of 74.1 degrees - 1983 and 1949


Background: In July, typically the hottest month of Boston’s year, the average temperature (which accounts for highs, lows and readings in between), is 73.4 degrees.

Coldest winter

Average of 23.9 degrees - 1917-18

Background: The normal average for January is 29 degrees.

Wettest year

1878 - 65.53 inches of total precipitation

Background: Last month, this reading, which accounts for both rain and the water contained in snow, came in at 3.37 inches. Mobile, Ala., one of the wettest places in the United States, often gets about 65 inches in a year, according to historical measurements compiled by the Western Regional Climate Center.

Driest year


1965 - 23.71 inches of precipitation

Background: This is closer to the annual amount in the area around Los Angeles (though recent seasons have been dry there).

Highest sustained wind

86.3 mph, during Hurricane Carol on Aug 31, 1954

Background: Carol was one of the most violent hurricanes ever to hit Southern New England, and left 65 people dead. Sustained winds were even higher in Connecticut, where they approached 100 miles per hour.

Daily snowfall in Boston

On March 15, this year's snowfall broke the record-setting total from 1995-1996.
Data through Mar. 23, 2015 at 11 a.m.

DATA: National Weather Service, Boston; NOAA

Globe Staff

Andy Rosen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @andyrosen.