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Heat records may fall Thursday before weekend temps return to normal

Union Leader Correspondent

May 17. 2017 9:19PM
Albert Wehbe of Worcester, Mass., left, races out of the water at Hampton Beach on Wednesday after taking a quick dip with his friends. While the air temperature may be summerlike, the water temperature is still in the mid-40s. (Jason Schreiber/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)

HAMPTON — After a gloomy stretch of clouds, rain, cool temperatures and even a surprise Mother’s Day snowstorm in some parts of the state, a sudden switch to summer-like weather has brought sunbathers to Hampton Beach.

Temperatures soared into the low 90s on Wednesday and are expected to reach record territory around 95 on Thursday, forecasters said.

For beach lovers like Lisa Mottla, 40, of Nashua, the heat couldn’t come soon enough.

“It was miserable in the winter,” she said Wednesday as she enjoyed a vanilla soft-serve ice cream cone on her first trip to Hampton Beach this season.

The beach was bustling as visitors who had traded sweatshirts for bathing suits to soak up some rays.

“We’ve been waiting for the nice weather,” said Brett Biron, 17, of Leominster, Mass., who came with friends and took a dip in the ocean, where water temperatures are still only in the 40s.

Shelly Storer of Manchester and her son, Jack, 1, wade in the chilly waters of Crystal Lake in Manchester during Wednesday's hot weather. Another scorcher is forecast for Thursday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

Albert Wehbe and his buddies from Worcester, Mass., also braved the chilly water. Wehbe said he hadn’t planned to go in, but he joined his friends for a quick splash before they dashed back out because it was too cold.

Some businesses are open, but many are still preparing for what they hope will be a busy summer.

“Because it’s a beach, it’s solely dependent on the weather,” said B.J. “Doc” Noel, president of the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce.

While a couple of hot days in the spring are always good for business, Noel said it’s always better when they come on the weekends.

“If you had 90 degrees on the weekend, look out,” he said.

Paula Pare, 70, of Haverhill, Mass., said she came to the beach once during the winter to get out of the house and was glad to be back in the warmer weather.

The umbrellas returned to Hampton Beach on a Wednesday as temperatures climbed into the 90s. (Jason Schreiber/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)

“We’ve been dying for this weather. It’s beautiful,” she said as she walked her dog, Lola.

Today’s record high in Concord is 90, and it’s likely to be broken, according to Tom Hawley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

The all-time high temperature in May was 98 degrees set on May 22, 1911. Hawley said temperatures will likely come in just below the record at 95 or 96.

The blast of heat will be short-lived. Highs are expected to be around 80 in southern New Hampshire on Friday. Hawley said upper 60s — normal for this time of year — return for the weekend, with low 60s likely by later next week. Showers are also in the forecast.


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