Last gasps of hot air draw a crowdBy JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent
September 11. 2013 10:59PM
HAMPTON — Jayne Young figured she would find some sunbathers at Hampton Beach, but she was surprised when she couldn’t find a good parking spot on Ocean Boulevard.
“I didn’t expect this,” the 50-year-old Gilmanton woman said.
Young, who made a trip to the beach with her friends from the Lakes Region, wasn’t the only one who thought it would be a good day for the beach.
With the temperature tying a record of 95 in Concord and a blast of muggy air making it feel even hotter, thousands flocked to New Hampshire beaches to enjoy what many beach lovers fear will be the last summer-like day before the leaves turn and fall arrives.
It was a busy beach day at Hampton Beach. Parking spots along the main beach were hard to find and many beachgoers ended up paying to park in private lots.
The real summer beach season usually ends with the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival, which was held last weekend. Still, many restaurants and shops along Ocean Boulevard were open for business.
Many beachgoers said they either took the day off from work or didn’t have to work on Wednesday.
“They know I’m here,” accountant Carol Stuart said with a laugh.
It’s a slow time of year for accountants so Stuart was able to hit the beach and grab lunch with a friend.
Stuart found a good spot to set up at the beach, but said she was surprised to see so many people during a work week in the middle of September.
“There wasn’t a parking spot to be had,” the Chelmsford, Mass., woman said.
With school back in session, many parents enjoyed a quiet day at the beach while their kids were in class.
“We’re enjoying the last days of summer,” said Amy Desantis of Methuen, Mass., a mother of four who came to the beach with her husband, John, a Lawrence, Mass., police officer who works the midnight shift.
Barbara Carey, 42 of Franklin, and her boyfriend, Mike Murphy, 36, decided to visit the beach to celebrate their nine years together.
“We knew it was going to be one hell of a hot day,” Carey said.
The heat prompted Raymond High School to postpone all outdoor sports activities.
Temperatures will drop into the middle to upper 80s on Thursday, but it’ll still be humid and a round of strong to severe thunderstorms are expected as a cold front moves through, said Michael Cempa, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.
High temperatures are expected to reach the 70s south and 60s north on Friday and lasting into the weekend before warming up next week, Cempa said.
“We’ll get above normal next week, but I don’t think we’re going to see it quite this warm and humid,” he said.
Meanwhile, snow lovers who have had enough of summer will be happy to know that the 2014 Old Farmer’s Almanac released on Tuesday is calling for a bitterly cold and snowy winter.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac, produced by Dublin-based Yankee Publishing Inc., predicts below-normal temperatures and above-normal snowfall across much of the country this winter resulting from a decline in solar activity combined with ocean-atmosphere patterns in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.