Before storms, it was a good day for a cold soakBy JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent
June 24. 2013 6:51PM
The first heat wave of the summer is in the making.
After a dreary spring that brought snow to parts of New Hampshire over Memorial Day weekend, a surge of hot and humid air has ushered in the start of the summer season.
The mercury hit 91 in Concord on Sunday and had already climbed into the mid 90s in many areas by Monday afternoon.
A heat wave is declared after three consecutive days of temperatures above 90 degrees, and with temperatures expected to soar into the 90s again on Tuesday and possibly even Wednesday, a heat wave is pretty much a guarantee, according to James Brown, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.
The summertime heat arrived just in time for many kids whose school vacations began last week. But others aren't so lucky.
Students in Goffstown are in school until Friday, while Fremont students will have a half day today before vacation begins.
John Safina, principal of Ellis School in Fremont, said the school has had fewer students in the building because kindergarteners finished last week and students in grades 7 and 8 spent Monday at Canobie Lake Park.
"Having lower numbers in the building helped keep the building a little cooler, or at least it felt that way," he said.
While the central core of the building has air conditioning, the rest of the school does not.
"Ellis has been dealing well with the heat. I've had no reports from the nurse of students or staff being affected by the heat," Safina said.
The heat and humidity will also bring the chance for afternoon thunderstorms, and as the heat continues to build, Brown said the area may experience some air quality concerns.
"When you're dealing with heat, you've got to take it easy and drink plenty of water," Brown said.
Temperatures are expected to drop back into the 70s to near 80 by the end of the week and lasting into the weekend.
The heat is always good for business at the state's beaches, especially Hampton Beach, where award-winning sand sculptures are expected to continue drawing spectators as they remain on display through July 7 as part of the 13th Annual Master Sand Sculpting Competition held over the weekend.
The typical summer heat brought out what's believed to be the largest crowd ever for the sand sculpting contest.
"Let's face it. The weather was on our side. So goes the weather, so goes the beach," said Doc Noel, president of the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce, Sun bathers seeking relief packed Hampton Beach again on Monday.
"It's mobbed, especially for a Monday," said Noel, who hopes the weather cooperates next week when the beach hosts its regular Wednesday night fireworks on July 3 and a second show on July 4 to mark Independence Day..