By Doug Ireland
---- — Three down, three more to go.
But some Southern New Hampshire residents said yesterday they don’t mind the consecutive days of 90-degree heat that are making life miserable for many. Others are resigned to the fact you just can’t control the weather.
“It’s nasty,” said Arnie Meyer, 55, of Derry. “It’s very uncomfortable. But there’s not much you can do.”
National Weather Service meteorologist Margaret Curtis in Gray, Maine, said the heat wave that began with a high of 93 degrees Monday won’t end until at least Sunday, when humidity levels will drop and temperatures will be in the high 70s.
“This could probably be the hottest week of the summer,” she said. “There’s a lot of warm, humid air out there.”
That may be an understatement.
The worst of the heat arrives tomorrow when the temperature is expected to soar to 95 degrees. There’s also a chance of thunderstorms each day before the heat finally diminishes.
But Charles Holt, 62, of Derry doesn’t mind the weather. It certainly beats winter, he said.
“I love the heat — you don’t have to shovel it,” Holt said.
While Curtis said there’s an average of 10 days of 90-degree weather in Southern New Hampshire each summer, there have already been 11 — and it’s only mid-July.
It’s early too early to say whether the trend will continue, she said.
Ryan Breton of AtkinsonWeather.com said weather models show temperatures in the 80s for next week into early August.
“We’re not in for a real hot summer,” he said. “But we never say never.”
Curtis and Breton said while it may not be an unusually hot summer, 2010 certainly was. That’s when there were 34 days of 90-degree heat, Breton said.
It was the 10th hottest summer on record, Curtis said. Last year was the 18th hottest summer since 1868, she said.
For those who think global warming may be responsible, think again. Several of the hottest summers on record were in the 1870s, she said.
The heat wave — three days or more of 90-degree heat — comes only a week after several days of drenching rain wreaked havoc on New Hampshire, causing flooding in some areas.
The torrential downpours followed by the extreme heat aren’t part of any unusual weather pattern, Curtis said. But some people can’t help but wonder.
“The heat is kind of crazy,” said Justine DeCotis, 48, of Derry. “But it’s too early to be tired of summer.”
Kristen Rench, 37, of Derry agreed.
“It’s been a weird summer,” she said. “It’s either raining or 100 degrees.”
Rench and her two daughters, Sophie, 8, and Juliet, 4, were picnicking in Derry, but getting ready to cut the trip short because of the heat.
“At least we have air conditioning at home,” she said.
For those who couldn’t seek refuge from the hot sun at home, cooling centers have opened throughout the area, including Salem, Derry and Plaistow.
Some people chose to brave the heat , but others didn’t have much choice. They had a job to do.
Arthur Lapointe of Manchester and his state Department of Transportation crew were busy paving East Derry Road in Derry. Lapointe said he’s accustomed to working on hot summer days.
‘I’ve been doing this for 28 years,” he said, “so I’m used to it.”
Bob Bettez, 76, of Londonderry and Ted Quinn, 87, of Nashua rushed to play nine holes of golf before noon. As they finished up, the two men were covered in sweat.
“We were done before we started,” Bettez said.
The extreme heat and humidity is taking a toll on the region’s electrical grid. ISO New England has asked electricity users to conserve as much possible.
The peak demand for electricity is today as more people turn to their air conditioners for relief, according to Lacey Ryan of ISO New England. But she assures electrical customers that there’s no danger they will lose power because of the increased demand.