Groton — Scorching heat continued to grip the shoreline on Tuesday, where a high of 95 degrees at 4 p.m. broke a 30-year-old record at the Groton-New London Airport.
The past record for July 16 was set in 1983, when the temperature hit 94 degrees, said Gary Lessor, a meteorologist and assistant director of The Weather Center at Western Connecticut State University.
It was the second day in a row that the regional high temperature was above 90 degrees — Monday saw a high of 94 degrees. In New England, Lessor said three days of 90-degree-plus temperatures constitutes a heat wave. Inland and western shoreline areas have already reached the threshold. And since the official Connecticut temperatures are recorded at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, the state is in a heat wave.
But in the Groton and New London area, the temperature is unlikely to hit the 90-degree mark again today, Lessor said, because of a southerly wind that is expected to cool off over the 66-degree waters of Long Island Sound before it comes ashore.
"It doesn't take too much with a decent wind flow to keep the shoreline areas cooler," Lessor said.
He forecasts the high temperature today to be about 87 degrees. Inland areas such as Norwich should reach about 93 degrees.
It will remain in the mid- to upper-80s for the remainder of the week on the shoreline, he said,with relief in sight for late Saturday or Sunday, when a cold front moves in, bringing with it cooler air but also the chance for thunderstorms and damaging winds.
Normal temperatures this time of year are just above 77 degrees in the Groton and New London area. So far, July has averaged 4 degrees above normal with just over half an inch of rainfall, Lessor said.