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Heat wave rolls in and is here to stay

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A man took to the shade at Wollaston Beach in Quincy on what promised to be a hot summer day Thursday morning.
A man took to the shade at Wollaston Beach in Quincy on what promised to be a hot summer day Thursday morning.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

Temperatures across most of Massachusetts were in the 90s on Thursday, with the stifling heat expected to remain through the weekend, forecasters said.

Reported highs included 96 degrees in Boston, 98 degrees in Lawrence, 95 degrees in southeastern Massachusetts, and the low 90s in the western part of the state, according to the National Weather Service in Taunton.

"Most of the state saw [at least] low 90 temperatures today, that's for sure," said meteorologist Benjamin Sipprell Thursday night. "The heat and humidity is going to stay with us through the weekend," punctuated by possible showers and thunderstorms.

Sipprell said forecasters could not rule out the possibility that some of the storms may be "strong to severe."

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In a written advisory, the weather service said that "excessive heat and humidity will affect much of the region through Saturday before temperatures lower slightly early next week. A few showers or thunderstorms are possible [Thursday] and Friday, mainly in western New England. Rounds of showers and thunderstorms with locally heavy, much needed rainfall, are likely through the weekend."

In Boston, where a heat emergency has been declared, officials said they would send a water truck across the city on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to keep people hydrated, Mayor Martin J. Walsh's office said in a statement.

Experts have been warning people to take it easy, particularly if they're planning to spend time outdoors.

"Excessive heat may lead to heat-related illnesses," forecasters said.

The weather service urged the public to "drink plenty of fluids . . . stay in an air-conditioned room . . . stay out of the sunshine . . . and check up on relatives and neighbors."

For those seeking to cool themselves at a beach, forecasters suggest they check rip tide conditions with the weather service before getting into the Atlantic Ocean, especially south of Boston.

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Sipprell said temperatures could dip "ever so slightly" on Monday. But don't expect jacket weather anytime soon.

"I wouldn't say the temperatures are going to plummet considerably," he said.

On Thursday, the scalding temperatures prompted Governor Charlie Baker to announce that all state-run pools across Massachusetts would remain open until 7:30 p.m. so people could cool off from the smothering heat, according to Department of Conservation and Recreation spokesman Mark Steffen.

Somerville also took creative measures to help residents beat the heat, adding extra skating hours at the Veterans Memorial Rink for people to cool off.


John R. Ellement of the Globe Staff contributed to this story. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com and on Twitter @TAGlobe. Olivia Quintana can be reached at olivia.quintana@globe.com.