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Penny Maxner, Eric Rioux and Gemma Rioux stayed cool despite the period costumes they donned for the Canobie Lake Protective Association's annual Fourth of July Boat Parade in Salem. Eric Rioux's decorated boat, “Beach Bum & HMS Limey” took second place. (APRIL GUILMET/Union Leader Correspondent)

Long, hot holiday weekend

As sunbathers flocked to New Hampshire beaches and lakes to beat the Fourth of July heat, Jeanne Melanson stayed away from the crowds and picked a shady spot under a tree along the Squamscott River.

"Today, I decided to just take it easy," the Exeter woman said while reading a magazine in a peaceful Swasey Parkway.

Today is expected to be the hottest day of the long holiday weekend, with temperatures soaring into the middle 90s, said Michael Cempa, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

"The air mass over us was always a warm air mass, but we were just stuck in the clouds and an onshore flow so it didn't stay as hot," Cempa said.

Gone are the rains that caused flash flooding earlier this week.

"You can always see some scattered storms pop up in the afternoon and some could have heavy rain, but they won't be as widespread as they have been the last couple of days," Cempa said.

With a sweltering air mass in place, Cempa urged people to take precautions by resting, drinking plenty of non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated fluids, and wearing light-colored and lightweight clothing.

The heat and humidity are expected to hang around through the weekend, but temperatures should drop back a bit into the middle to upper 80s by next week as a cold front sweeps through, Cempa said.

The unbearable humidity levels should also ease next week, but Cempa said it'll still feel humid.

"It'll be more typical summer weather," he said.


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