Vineyard breaks heat record, cooling shelter opens

The West Tisbury library is being opened as a cooling center because of Monday and Tuesday's extreme heat. —Susan Safford

Martha’s Vineyard broke a heat record Monday that was set in 2012. As of approximately 1:30 pm Martha’s Vineyard Airport was at 90 degrees, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Torry Gaucher. Gaucher said the record set in 2012 was 86 degrees. While a heat advisory is in effect for other parts of the commonwealth, the Vineyard is not subject to the heat advisory and there is no heat wave presently. A heat wave, Gaucher said, constitutes three consecutive days of over 90 degree heat

As a result of the heat, West Tisbury town administrator Jennifer Rand wrote that a cooling center will be opened. “In anticipation of record heat and humidity conditions over the next 48 hours, the towns of West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah will be opening up a single cooling shelter at the West Tisbury Library [Monday] and [Tuesday],” she wrote. The cooling center was scheduled to be open through 6 pm Monday and 11:30 to 6 pm Tuesday.

“This shelter is for emergency use only for those that need relief from the weather.  Masks are mandatory, seating will be assigned and there will be limited spacing,” Rand wrote. “Please use ONLY as a last resort to insure space for those that need this the most. The library will not be available for on site business during this time but curbside pick up will still be available.”