Axios Boston

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It's Monday. But don't let that stop you.

Today's weather: Mostly sunny with a high near 66.

Today's newsletter is 924 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: A long, hot U.S. summer is looming, forecasters say

Map showing the likelihood of above-, average, and below-average temperatures across the U.S. during June, July and August 2024. Photo: NOAA/CPC

A hotter-than-usual summer is likely to occur in Boston and many other parts of the globe, according to new forecasts and scientific research.

Why it matters: Extreme heat is a major public health threat that plays a role in droughts and wildfires.

Zoom in: The Northeast, including New England, has a 50-60% chance of seeing abnormally hot temps this summer, according to NOAA.

The big picture: An ongoing El Niño event in the tropical Pacific Ocean is quickly fading, with cooling ocean temperatures at and beneath the surface.

  • A La Niña climate cycle is expected to take shape, which features cooler-than-average tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures, later this summer.
  • Some studies show that these transitions are associated with hotter-than-average summertime conditions across large parts of the U.S., centered across the Midwest.

What they're saying: NOAA's Michelle L'Heureux says other climate trends — including human-caused climate change — may outrank the see-saw from El Niño to La Niña in driving U.S. summer temperature anomalies.

  • "Clearly, greenhouse gases are the #1 primary driver of climate trends over the U.S.," L'Heureux, who leads the forecasting unit at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center in Maryland, told Axios in an email.
  • She noted that El Niño and La Niña tend to have their greatest influence on U.S. weather patterns during the winter months in the Northern Hemisphere.

Go deeper: The National Weather Service's new weapon

2. ⛈️ Map: Extreme weather outages

Share of major power outages attributed to extreme weather
Data: Climate Central via U.S. Department of Energy; Note: Major power outages affect at least 50k customers or interrupt service of 300 megawatts or more; Outage events can cross state lines; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Power outages in Massachusetts are mostly caused by bad weather, according to a new analysis.

  • Weather caused 87.1% of the 85 major outages in Massachusetts between 2000 and 2023, according to the Department of Energy.
  • The South and Southeast have experienced the most extreme weather-related power outages during the past two decades.

Why it matters: The electrical grid is under increasing strain as climate change raises the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, from heat waves to wildfires.

  • Outages, and lengthy restoration times, can cost the economy billions of dollars and lead to death.

Keep reading: When the rest of New England tends to lose power

3. 🔙 Back That Mass Up: Messichusetts

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

⚽️ Lionel Messi scored two goals Saturday, helping Inter Miami crush New England, 4-1. (USA Today)

  • The Messi game drew record crowds for the Revs at Gillette Stadium.

Tufts University and MIT officials called on students to end the pro-Palestinian encampments on their campuses in separate statements this weekend. (Globe)

MassDevelopment president and CEO Dan Rivera stepped down from his position Friday, halfway through his contract with the quasi-public agency. (SHNS)

  • He left to pursue another opportunity, a Healey administration spokesperson said.

4. Sports success

Kristaps Porzingis blocks a shot against Miami during Game 3. Photo: Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images.

The Celtics won Game 3 against the Heat to take their playoffs series lead Saturday.

  • Game 4 is tonight at 7:30pm.

The Bruins now lead their own series against the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 after Saturday's 3-1 win.

The Red Sox beat the Cubs yesterday.

Empower our Community

Illustration: Andrew Caress/Axios

Become an Axios Boston member and fuel our mission to make readers smarter and faster on the news unfolding here.

Why it's important: The generosity of our members supports our newsroom as we work on the daily newsletter.

What's in it for you: Insider notes from the local reporters and other perks.

Thank you for trusting us.

5. 💃 Social Calendar

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Monday

👀 A group of transit activists have a simple goal for their Monday afternoon rally at Park Street Station: convince the MBTA to glue googly eyes to the front of trains to give them a little personality, 12pm.

Tuesday

📚 East End Books in the Seaport hosts a discussion with Melissa Giberson, author of "Late Bloomer," and Amy Ferris, author of "Mighty Gorgeous," 6pm-7pm.

Wednesday

📖 Author Brad Balukjian presents his new book "The Six Pack: On the Open Road in Search of Wrestlemania," in which Balukjian explores the world of professional wrestling by tracking down the friends and foes of wrestler the Iron Sheik.

🎞 The Boston Independent Film Festival opens for eight days of exploratory cinema at the Brattle, Davis Square Theater, Coolidge Corner Theater and other cinemas.

Thursday

🖼 The Fenway Cultural District holds its first art crawl, "JoyWalk," 12pm-8pm.

  • The crawl offers drinks, snacks and free admission to nine spots, including the Gardner Museum, the MFA and Trustman Art Gallery.

See the full listing

6. 🍕 The ultimate pizza guide, cont'd

According to Ernesto's this is one slice. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios

Steph here. If you know where to look, Boston has a handful of underrated, no-frills pizzerias that get it right.

  • Today, we look at Ernesto's Pizza, Alfredo's Italian Kitchen and Caesar's Pizza & Subs.

Ernesto's Pizza

Ernesto's is the closest you can get to a perfect slice in the North End, but it ain't cheap.

What I ordered: A pepperoni slice.

  • What I got: A double helping with lightly seasoned sauce, cheese and large pepperoni slices.

Price: $6.31 for the massive slice.

A slice of pizza on a paper plate from Alfredo's Italian Kitchen in East Cambridge.
Pepperoni from Alfredo's. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios

Alfredo's Italian Kitchen

Alfredo's in East Cambridge should be the baseline for pizza aficionados.

  • Their slices are pretty decent, which makes them stellar by Boston standards.

What I ordered: A pepperoni slice.

  • What I got: Just that. No less, no more.
  • Alfredo's has some competition with Gufo across the street (their pizza's thicker and bougie). But it seems to have maintained a steady stream of regulars.

Price: $3.30 for pepperoni.

A slice of New York-style pepperoni and a Sicilian cheese slice on a paper plate from Caesar's Pizza & Subs in Somerville.
Caesar's pepperoni and Sicilian slices. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios

Caesar's Pizza & Subs

In a Boston-area pizza contest, I would be torn between Armando's in Cambridge and Caesar's Pizza & Subs in neighboring Somerville.

  • Caesar's has the added bonus of being stationed across the street from the Market Basket, so you can treat yourself as you run errands.

What I ordered: A pepperoni slice and a Sicilian.

  • What I got: A well-seasoned and crispy New York-style slice, albeit a little greasy.
  • The sauce's flavor came through better on the Sicilian, which had a crispy, but airy crust.

Price: $4.15 for a pepperoni slice.

Keep reading: Check out the full guide

Deehan agrees with Yelp that Cafe Bonjour is one of the best brunch places in Boston, but be prepared to stand in line with flocks of tourists to get in when it's busy. He stopped by last year.

Steph had email trouble last week and fortunately missed any pizza-related hate mail.

This newsletter was edited by Jeff Weiner and copy edited by James Farrell.