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New daily heat record set atop Mount Washington

The Cog Railway as seen from the summit of Mount Washington. NHPR photo by Annie Ropeik. NHPR.org.
Annie Ropeik
NHPR file photo
This archival photo, taken at an earlier date, shows the Cog Railway as seen from the summit of Mount Washington.

This story was originally produced by the Conway Daily Sun. NHPR is republishing it in partnership with the Granite State News Collaborative.

As a heat wave with temperatures in the 90s rolled through the area this week, a daily record for June 19 was broken atop Mount Washington.

Mount Washington Observatory Weather Observer and Education Specialist Alex Branton said the high recorded Wednesday at the summit was 70 degrees, breaking the record for June 19 between 1:45 and 2:15 p.m.

A daily record is the record for that day of the calendar year, she said.

The previous record was 67 degrees on June 19, 1995. The monthly record high for June is 72 degrees.

“So, the highest temperature ever recorded in the month of June and observatory history was 72 degrees,” said Branton. “We did not break that.”

“It’s kind of interesting to know that our temperature stopped rising today due to thunderstorms to our north,” she added.

Asked about the observatory staff’s reaction, Branton said, “We moreso celebrate wind records, cold temperatures and precipitation records, but I don’t think any of us are that thrilled with a high temperature being broken.”

She said the high temperatures are due to a weather pattern of high pressure sitting over the Northeast.

“It’s kind of just holding all the heat that we’re collecting over the past few days,” said Branton.

The temperature reached 94 degrees in North Conway. Today’s daily record high is 100 degrees set in 1995. The record for the month of June is 102.

The National Weather Service had a heat warning for much of the eastern half of New Hampshire up through Conway on Wednesday. The weather is predicted to cool off by Friday.

Conway Emergency Management Director Phil Remington issued a press release suggesting places people could cool off. Locations included Conway Public Library and Pope Memorial Library as well as the North Conway Community Center.

The libraries were closed Wednesday for Juneteeth observance but were open Tuesday.

“We did have a pretty busy afternoon yesterday. I think it was the last day for schools, so there were a lot of kids and parents coming in to sign up for Summer Reading and to grab books and movies, presumably to stay entertained while keeping cool inside the next couple of days,” said Conway Public Library Director Jeff Beavers Wednesday.

“We’ve got AC, free WiFi, and will have bottle water and ice packs available for anyone who needs them.”

Pope Memorial Library Executive Director Angela Callahan said on Pope Memorial Library staff saw a small uptick in visitors Tuesday.

North Conway Community Center was open as a heat shelter Wednesday, but things cooled off when a thunder storm arrived around 4 p.m. Executive Director Phil Ouellette said the spray ground — a concrete pad with water spouts — has been busy.

Peter Gagne, owner of Saco River Tubing, said business was great on Tuesday in the heat but said the “spring has been a complete bust” and is the worst June for his business ever. He said Saco River Tubing might have done better Tuesday than in the past seven days combined.

Police Chief Chris Mattei said there was one call Tuesday for a dog in a hot motor vehicle. He said the dog ended up being fine.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visitcollaborativenh.org.

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