hot

UPDATED just after midnight July 23: Today: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 78. East wind 5 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50 percent. 

Tonight: A slight chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 11 p.m. Patchy fog after 2 a.m. (pre-dawn Wednesday). Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 67. East wind 3 to 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.

Advice, information for hot weather, because it's still summer

Weather experts note that in high heat, conditions often can feel even hotter than the official temperature; the term for this, "heat index," refers to subjective perception of how hot it feels based on a formula involving both air temperature and relative humidity.

The Town of Arlington has two outdoor places at which people can get relief with cold water: North Union Spray Park, which is free, and Reservoir Beach aka the "Res," which is not.

With temperatures having been in the 80s and 90s recently, town officials want to make residents aware of options to cool off and provide some safety tips. Read the full advisory at arlingtonma.gov

Weather experts call what happened the week of June 17, 2024, an excessive heat watch and a hazardous condition and part of extreme and record-breaking temperatures throughout the Northeast. Boston declared a heat emergency and opened cooling centers; a few other municipalities ended the public-school year early. Boston, which is less than 10 miles from Arlington, reported a high of 98 degrees that week, breaking a 101-year-old record for June 19; it was hotter that day back in 1923.

Arlington itself keeps no temperature statistics. 

Fortunately for Arlingtonians, options for cooling off with water outdoors are now open on both ends of town. 

To cope with the high heat, people, especially the young and the old, are advised to drink plenty of fluids whether they feel thirsty or not, stay in air conditioning inside if possible and out of direct sun as much as possible, wear hats and sunscreen when outdoors and to check up on vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbors. High heat can be a serious matter; an essay in today's Boston Globe reports that the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has found that one out of every 500 stroke deaths globally is caused by extreme heat and that in Boston, the risk of dying is 37 percent higher on a 90-degree day than it is on a 75-degree day.

Wild weather in mid-June causes issues

The afternoon rainstorm on Friday, June 14, 2024, resulted in many downed wires and fallen  trees that needed to be cleaned up, town officials said. An NECN video showed that Arlington was particularly hard hit. 

In some cases, town crews from the Department of Public Works were out until nearly midnight that night clearing up the aftermath, something observed directly by longtime Tree Committee member Susan Stamps.

 In what is not weather news but still has to do with natural events, it was reported that the New Jersey-based earthquake at mid-morning Friday, April 5, was felt throughout Massachusetts including by some in Arlington, according to social media. Here is what the National Weather Service's Massachusetts office had to say about it: "[10:30 a.m.] We have received several reports of an earthquake felt here in southern New England around 10:25 a.m. Preliminary reportsindicate a magnitude 4.8 earthquake was recorded in north-central N.J. Please refer to the the USGS for more information! earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/ev"

National Weather Service generally gives this standard advice whenever rain is forecast: "Are you prepared for possible flooding? If you live/work in an area that floods in heavy rain, ensure that sump pumps are working. Know alternate travel routes. Never drive through flooded roads!" 

TheNational Weather Service on social media recently asked: "Are you interested in severe weather? We're kicking off our 2024 Skywarn Spotter training program soon! Classes are FREE and open to the public. In person - register online! For more information and to register, visit weather.gov/boston/skywarn"

On Wednesday, March 6, the local environmental organization Save the Alewife Brook expressed concern about the region receiving possibly even more rain -- up to 5 inches -- on Thursday. "When we receive just less than an inch of hard, fast rain, we experience untreated sewage pollution discharges into Alewife Brook," an emailed newsletter said. "When we receive more than a couple of inches of hard, fast rain, the Alewife Brook floods over its bank and onto the Alewife Greenway path. This might occur around midnight tonight, depending on local precipitation. Avoid any floodwater near Alewife Brook [in East Arlington, near the boundary with Cambridge], tomorrow and Friday. This water may be contaminated with raw sewage, which can cause illness," it concluded.

Snow no go -- who could know?

As to snow, as late as at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, per forecast.weather.gov, up to 6 inches of snow were expected locally, but, in the end, it was far less. According to a Boston Globeapp, only 1 inch of snow fell in Lexington, immediately to the northwest of Arlington; Arlington itself keeps neither official nor unofficial precipitation statistics. Public schools in Arlington, Lexington and many other Massachusetts communities also closed their public schools out of, as the saying goes, an abundance of caution. That included the regional Minuteman High School in Lexington, attended by some 215 Arlington teens.

There was no collection of trash/recycling Tuesday Feb. 13, and a one-day delay was in effect the rest of the week. For updates, at any time, one may check the town website.

History, recent and otherwise, for weather buffs

A note of interest for history buffs; per the NWS on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024: "[on this date in1934]: All-time record low temperatures, many of which still stand today [including minus 21 at Blue Hill]. 2017: The 'Blizzard of '17' brought over a foot of snow."

In mid-January 2024 locally there was a run of subfreezing temperatures for about a week, and then temperatures finally climbed into the 30s Jan. 22. Previously, overnight temperatures were down to the low teens and feeling more like zero when accounting for the wind-chill factor. Last weekend, the National Weather Service had this to say: "[Cold Snap] Wind chills will drop to near and below 0F [Friday Jan. 19] and Saturday night as arctic air filters in behind today's departing light snow." 

Snow fell Tuesday, Jan. 16, beginning before dawn. By late morning, Lexington had reported nearly 2 inches based on reports from a trained spotter; the town of Arlington does not provide estimates, and it could have varied quite a bit, with the amount often depending significantly on where in town one is; elevated areas in the Heights -- also further inland and closer to Lexington -- tend to get more snow than East Arlington and the Center.

In mid-January, for a while, almost the entire state was under a flood watch/warning with up to 2 inches of rain along with wind gusts up to 43 mph in greater Boston, per the National Weather Service. "Watches have been raised across the region. If you live in flood-prone areas along the coast or rivers, pay attention to future forecasts," the NWS says on X-formerly-Twitter. Of note for those near Alewife Brook, the NWS said, "Avoid floodwaters due to potential hazards like chemicals, sewage and diseases. Hidden underwater debris may cause injuries, and water depth can change unexpectedly near storm drains and washed-out roads."

The previous rainfall by Jan. 10 had caused overflow, likely containing untreated sewage, at Alewife Brook, a perennial concern to members of the locally based Save the Alewife Brook environmental organization, which continues to work with state officials on plans for sewage treatment.

"To see water containing untreated sewage on the path people's feet travel carrying probable pathogens back to their homes distresses me," group member Valorie Nybo, a retired health official, told YourArlington today.

"Lots of dog feet travel that same path . . . baby strollers and bicycles will all travel that path carrying whatever the Alewife Brook deposits there back to their homes."

Snow and ice removal operations take place as needed by the town of Arlington's Department of Public Works (DPW) -- officials said that up to 8 inches of snow fell in January -- with DPW clearing storm drains. However, with more than 3,000 storm drains in town, DPW cannot get to them all, the town announcement said -- and therefore asks residents themselves, if possible, to clear the accessible parts of storm drains near their property, as doing so reduces the risk of localized flooding. As the DPW website page notes, "the outside of catch basins frequently gets clogged with leaves and trash." Learn more and Adopt-A-Drain. 


Jan. 3, 2024: Town gets first measurable snow of season


This ongoing news announcement was updated most recently Tuesday, July 23, 2024, based primarily on the Norton-based office of the National Weather Service's calculations deriving from readings taken at Laurence G. Hanscom Field Airport in nearby Bedford.