Dangerous Heat Coming This Weekend: How Hot It Will Get and How to Prepare

New England's going to have a scorcher that will be a shock to the system, so seek out air conditioning and check on pets and at-risk friends and family

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Light winds and mostly sunny skies will lead the way Friday for the start of what is to be the warmest weekend of the season -- one that New Englanders may want to prepare for (more on that below).

Warming temperatures overhead, combined with an increasing southern flow, will yield a big improvement over Thursday's damp and dreary weather. We're expecting highs to rise into the upper 70s to low 80s for most across the region Friday.

Overnight, an atmospheric disturbance moving east from the Great Lakes region may spark downpours and a rumble or two of thunder. Right now, we're not expecting any impactful weather from this low pressure system but they can sometimes catch us off guard by arriving with more of a punch than initially expected. A warmer night is on tap, with lows dropping into the upper 50s to low 60s.

Scorching Heat Saturday, Sunday

A sub-tropical ridge of high pressure moves into New England Saturday morning, ushering in well-above-normal temperatures for mid-May. High temperatures will spike into the mid to upper 90s across interior southern New England, with areas across northern New England rising into the upper 80s to low 90s.

These temperatures, combined with the humidity, will be a shock to the system. Numerous records stand to be tied or broken on both Saturday and Sunday across the region.

A map showing the expected high temperatures in New England on Saturday, May 21, 2022.
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The expected high temperatures in New England on Saturday, May 21, 2022.
A map showing the expected high temperatures in New England on Sunday, May 22, 2022.
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The expected high temperatures in New England on Sunday, May 22, 2022.

How to Prepare for the Heat

This is exceptional heat for so early in the season, including our pets! And given the number of college commencements and nicer weather leading to people being outdoors more, heat-related illness is a real possibility over the weekend.

It is important to stay hydrated and not over-exert. Many folks have not yet installed air conditioners. Seek out some hours in A/C both Saturday and Sunday.

Another point to take into consideration is that ocean, lake and pond water temperatures are still cold enough for hypothermia concerns. If you are going to be spending time in the water, dress for the water temperature and not the air temperature.

Weekend Storm Forecast

In terms of precipitation, we're expecting a mostly dry Saturday. It’s worth noting that Saturday night is going to be an uncomfortable night for sleep across the region, with warm temperatures and high dew points.

A cold front will approach New England Sunday, leading to the chance of a few showers and maybe a rumble or two of thunder during the evening. This cold front will usher relief Sunday night through Monday morning, sending the soaring temperatures back down to closer to normal for this time of year.

Will the Heat Continue Next Week?

An area of high pressure will work into the region Monday behind the departing cold front, dominating our weather through the middle of the week with more moderate temperatures and dry weather.

Looking ahead to the second half of next week on the exclusive First Alert Weather 10-Day Forecast on NBC Boston and NECN, a low pressure moving out of the Great Lakes will bring increased clouds and precipitation chances.

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