Boston hit 77 degrees Wednesday afternoon, setting the record for the warmest March 9 in history, the National Weather Service said.
The previous record was set in 2000, when Boston saw highs hit 72 degrees on March 9.
Wednesday is also the earliest 77-degree day Boston has ever recorded.
Providence also broke its warmth record for March 9 when it hit 70 degrees, the weather service said. That beat the previous record of 66 set in 2002.
The fact that Southern New England hit such high temperatures this early in the year is remarkable, weather service meteorologist Bill Simpson said.
The hottest day ever in March was 89 degrees on March 31, 1998, according to the weather service.
But in normal years, Boston does not hit 77 until April 27, on average. In 2015, no March day was warmer than 57, Simpson said. The first day temperatures rose to 77 or more last year was May 4, when the temperature jumped to 84 degrees.
The last time Boston’s weather featured temperatures in the 70s was Nov. 6, 2015.
Showers are expected to move in Wednesday night, the weather service said, with lows falling into the mid-50s.
On Thursday, rain is expected to hit the area around midday. There is an 80 percent chance of precipitation, the weather service said, with totals of up to a quarter-inch. Highs will reach into the mid-60s.
Temperatures are expected to remain in the high 50s for the rest of the week, the weather service said. Aside from a chance of rain early on Friday, the weather service is expecting clear weather through the weekend.
J.D. Capelouto can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @jdcapelouto.