Visitors to Boston got an unexpected dose of warmth on Tuesday as temperatures climbed to near-record highs for a sunny, cloudless afternoon.
One of them was Delta Air Lines pilot Aaron McGrew, who was stretching out in Boston Common, headphones in ears, dressed in shorts and a T-shirt.
After flying all around the country, he said he was used to packing lots of outfits for runs in numerous climates — in his suitcase, he stashed a jacket, hat and gloves in preparation for New England in November. He was pleasantly surprised, though, to find a summer breeze in the air on his pass through Boston.
“For Boston, this is perfect,” said McGrew, 40. “I ran yesterday in West Palm Beach and it was worse than this.”
An East Coast high-pressure system and clear skies were to thank for the unseasonably warm temperatures, which peaked at 73 degrees on Tuesday, according to Alan Dunham, Taunton-based meteorologist for the National Weather Service.
“It’s a slightly warmer system, so we’re able to enjoy above-normal temperatures for the week,” Dunham told Metro. “It’s certainly not every year that you see temperatures this warm for this time in November.”
Climate outlooks call for warmer-than-average temperatures through February, he said, adding forecasts also call for above-average precipitation for the next few months.
The record high for Nov. 3 in the city is 76 degrees, set in 1990, according to weather data. The record high for November is 83 degrees, set on Nov. 2, 1950.
On Tuesday, at least, visitors and newcomers were soaking in the warm-weather gift from the gods.
Solyn Chou, 32, was enjoying the weather on the Common by throwing laterals with a toy football to his niece and nephew.
He said he was in the process of moving from Hawaii to the Netherlands, and was stopping off along the way to visit family in Revere. He grew up in Malden before joining the Air Force, he said, and had been expecting something a bit chillier when he boarded his plane.
“We were the crazy people at the Hawaii airport all scarf-ed up,” Chou said.
He wasn’t disappointed by the warmth. “Can’t complain,” he said.
On one patch of Common lawn, a group of four students from Venezuela here studying English at Kaplan in the Fenway tossed a Frisbee around. This coming winter would be their first in Boston, they said.
Miguel Urdaneta, 18, said he had never lived in a cold climate before, and had never even seen snow, though he’s heard what Boston winters are like.
“In February, it’s cold and everything is white,” Urdaneta said. “I’m afraid.”
But for now, the group was soaking in the sunshine.
“It’s a good day,” said Sergio Iaonnane, also 18.