SALISBURY — Forget about April showers bringing May flowers — how about Wednesday’s lightning bringing today’s heat wave?
The fearsome display by Mother Nature heralded the oncoming high temperatures, which experts predict will last until Sunday.
Chris Roller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, said a high pressure system has formed to the southeast of the region, bringing with it warm and humid air as the system spins clockwise.
Summer-like temperatures will continue until a cold front moves through the region Sunday night into Monday, dropping temperatures to late-spring norms by the middle of next week. More thunder and lightning may be on the way for Sunday.
Roller said this weekend’s heat wave is uncommon for this time of year but not unheard of.
“I can’t remember the last time we’ve had it (a heat wave in late May), but we’re in mid to late spring; this is probably around the time something like this would happen,” Roller said.
Ryan Breton of AtkinsonWeather.com said it looks like heat will peak today.
“This is a really impressive early season warm spell,” Breton said. “What’s unusual is we haven’t had too many hot days. By now, we’ve typically had a couple of upper 80s or 90-degree days.”
Traffic heading to Salisbury Beach yesterday was already heavy and police are expecting even more car and motorcycle volume today.
At its heaviest, traffic can back up for miles starting near the Route 286 exit on Interstate 95, the Route 110 exit off Interstate 495 in Amesbury and Bridge Road toward the Gillis Bridge and Newburyport.
Because of the weather, Salisbury Beach State Reservation will have lifeguards on duty today through the weekend. Normally, lifeguards are not on duty on Fridays this early in the season.