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Perfect weather predicted for weekend events

With Hurricane Arthur passing by after dealing much of New Hampshire a soaking and upending July 4th festivities, the rest of the weekend should bring dazzling weather — welcome news for those who delayed fireworks, barbecues and other holiday celebrations.

Forecasters predicted the first hurricane of the season would leave up to 2 inches of rain along the coast and about an inch from the southern regions north to Concord before clearing New England this morning.

On Friday, Concord joined the roster of cities — including Manchester, Rochester and Portsmouth — that postponed annual fireworks shows to Saturday night. Dover rescheduled its show to Sunday.

Today should see temperatures in the mid- to upper-70s with humidity much lower than earlier this week. Sunday will see more of the same with temperatures likely to nudge 80, said meteorologist Michael Kistner of the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

Rockingham, Belknap, Merrimack, Strafford, Carroll, Cheshire and Hillsborough County remained under a flash-flood watch until 6 a.m. Saturday.

Beachgoers also should expect strong seas today and Sunday with high surf and strong rip currents, Kistner said.

While Arthur was not predicted to bring strong winds, small craft advisories were in effect for New Hampshire on Friday.

Some communities squeezed in morning Fourth of July parades and other activities before heavy rains came. They include Amherst, where hundreds began lining the Village Green under threatening skies to watch the annual Fourth of July parade.

Arthur was downgraded from a Category 2 to Category 1 storm after making landfall Thursday night in North Carolina.

Rains and strong thunderstorms that barreled through the state Thursday were the prelude to Hurricane Arthur’s arrival, which was expected to pass about 50 miles east of Nantucket about midnight Saturday before heading north toward Nova Scotia later in the morning, Kistner said.

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