The longest heat wave in Boston lasted 9 days

Lane Turner/Globe Staff/File

While the region is baking in a stretch of hot weather, things were worse more than a century ago.

The National Weather Service said the longest heat wave in Greater Boston lasted 9 days and took place between July 3 and July 11, 1912, a span during which temperatures ranged from daytime lows of 90 degrees to a high of 98 degrees.

The heat wave came to a ferocious end when a new weather system generated thunder and lighting that was linked to the deaths of a 12-year-old girl in Cambridge who fell on a downed power line and a 19-year-old Malden man hit working on an Everett farm, the Globe reported.


“Death and destruction by lighting followed in the wake of electrical storms, the worst in recent years, that swept the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Florida,’’ the Globe reported. “The storms broke nine days of terrific heat that had caused intense suffering and ended the drought of nearly a month and a half.”

During the heat wave, at least five people were felled by the combination of heat and humidity including an 86-year-old man who was “found crazed” in Lynn and who later died at an area hospital, the Globe reported.

Temperatures plummeted by 15 degrees in less than 30 minutes during a cloudburst that marked the change in weather systems, the Globe reported. The storm also discharged lighting around the region, stopped trolley service for some time, and travelled through 32 units at a Back Bay apartment.

Overall, Boston has had heat waves that lasted 8 days four times - 1872, 1944, 1994, 2002, according to government records. Currently, Boston has broken 90 degrees last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The weather service said it does not expect the heat wave to officially continue in Boston Monday where temperatures dropped to 74 degrees at Logan International Airport but the 90 degree temperatures will persist away from the coast.


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John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.