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Hot Out There: High Temps Cause Heat Advisory, Early Release For Some N.H. Schools

As temperatures stretched into the 90s Monday, a heat advisory remained in place from the National Weather Service for most of New Hampshire.

Amid high heat and humidity, people are reminded to drink plenty of water and check on neighbors without cooling access.

While temperatures should cool down by the end of the week, here’s how it affected communities around the Granite State.

High Temperatures Disrupt School In Manchester And Concord

Schools in Manchester were closed to avoid sweltering temperatures inside school buildings. In Concord, students were dismissed early due to an anticipated afternoon high of 95 degrees. The district is also closing schools early Tuesday, in anticipation of another day near 90 degrees.

Credit Julia Furukawa / NHPR
Abbot-Downing School in Concord dismissed its students early on Monday due to the heat.

“If it keeps other people safe, and they don't overheat and they can breathe better, I get all that. That makes a lot of sense,” says Mike Minnaugh, who has a kindergartner at Abbot-Downing School in Concord.

Many schools and other public buildings in New Hampshire currently lack air conditioning.

As the climate warms over the coming decades, the state is expected to see many more days a year that top 90 or 100 degrees. 

Children, Elderly, People With Respiratory Problems Especially At Risk In Extreme Heat

There’s an air quality alert in effect for Hillsborough and Rockingham counties on Monday due to the extreme heat.

The state says high temperatures and sunny skies are worsening the health effects of smog from inside and outside the state. These conditions also help create ozone at ground level. 

The state says everyone should try to limit strenuous outdoor activity on Monday. The poor air quality can be especially unhealthy for children and older people and anyone with respiratory problems. 

Find our reminders about how to stay cool and use less energy here.

Public Buildings Offer Shelter, But Few Cities Open After-Hours Cooling Centers

As of Monday, the city of Dover says Seacoast residents who need some relief can stop into any of their municipal buildings, from the gym to city hall to the police and fire stations.

Manchester is offering its senior center and library as shelters and has opened its splash pad and the Crystal Lake Beach House until this evening. They're usually only open on weekends. The city also issued health reminders for the "early season heat," reminding people not to leave kids or pets in hot cars, to hydrate and wear appropriate clothing. 

Other towns often default to their public libraries as cooling centers. Many more of those are reopened as of now than they were last summer, at the height of the pandemic. Malls, movie theatres and other public buildings are also an option for people at risk from the extreme heat. And residents can call 2-1-1 for other resources.

Certain Rockingham County residents who can't afford a home air conditioner can get help obtaining one through the nonprofit Area Home Care in Portsmouth.

Conditions should improve on Tuesday as the weather gets cloudier. But temperatures will be in the 90s through Wednesday, and it will feel hotter due to the humidity. Temperatures across the state are expected to lower by Thursday, with a high of 81 in Manchester. 

This story includes reporting by NHPR's Julia Furukawa and Annie Ropeik.

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