Some Like It Hot: Beachgoers and Hampton Police Ready for Heat
It's going to be a hot weekend on the Seacoast, and Hampton police will be ready for any potential trouble.
A Heat Advisory was issued by the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, from Saturday at noon until Sunday night at 8 p.m. for southern New Hampshire and eastern and central Massachusetts. Temperatures will soar into the 90s away from the immediate coast, which combined with high humidity will make it feel like 97 degrees.
The exception is along the immediate coast, where high temperatures will only make it into the 80s.
This is the first time NWS Gray has ever had to issue a Heat Advisory in May.
There won't be much relief at night, according to meteorologist Craig Cornwell at the Gray office.
"The overnight low temperature Saturday night may only get into the upper 60s, so you won't get much relief overnight. It will still be quite uncomfortable," Cornwell said.
Preparing for the Worst
Hampton Deputy Police Chief Alex Reno told Seacoast Current the department is aware of several social media-driven events being planned for Hampton Beach.
"We are drastically increasing the amount of police personnel at the beach. We want people to come to the beach and enjoy themselves, but anybody who seeks to come here to break our laws or create violence will be arrested and prosecuted," Reno said.
The department's goal is always to provide a safe environment for anyone who wishes to come here, according to Reno.
29 arrests were made last Friday night for groups of young people who arranged via social media to meet at the beach. When police dispersed the group, they moved onto Ocean Boulevard where they fought and blocked traffic. Most of the arrests were alcohol-related, according to Reno.
Cornwell said that the heat may take some people by surprise, and they may not have their air conditioners ready to go for the season.
The same warnings still apply, even with the sudden summer weather.
“Take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family, including your pets, from heat-related illness,” NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Jennifer Harper said in a statement. “During extreme heat, stay hydrated and take extra precautions, such as frequent breaks, if you work or spend time outside.”
Dress for the Water Temperature
The other concern is that lake and ocean temperatures are still only in the low 50s and can be dangerous if a swimmer is not prepared. Cornwell said the water temperature at Hampton Beach is 53, while Lake Winnipesaukee is 50.
"When you first jump in, you're shocked at how cold it really is," Cornwell said. "If you're out in a watercraft and you don't have proper heating equipment or a life jacket, the body can go into a state of shock immediately because of how cold it is. It doesn't take too long for you to exert your energy and run out of strength to keep yourself afloat."
Other heat tips from NH Homeland Security:
- Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
- Drink plenty of water, even if you don't feel thirsty.
- Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
- Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.
- Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power during periods of extreme heat. Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
- Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.
- Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Avoid dark colors, because they absorb the sun’s rays.
- Protect your face and head by wearing sunblock and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Limit exposure to the sun.