It won't be piping plovers that could cancel the fireworks at Hampton Beach on Wednesday night.

The last day of the heat wave will have high temperatures in the 90s and dew points in the 70s combining for a heat index between 95 and 100. Thunderstorms will develop this afternoon and last through the evening, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Maura Casey.

"They're going to form west and north of the Seacoast but they're going to track towards the Seacoast later in the afternoon and in the evening," Casey told Seacoast Current.

Casey expects the worst of the storms to be south of the Seacoast although there could be some scattered showers and thunderstorms in the Hampton Beach area.

A cold front could bring thunderstorms with gusty winds and locally heavy rainfall will bring a drop in temperature and humidity.

Unitil said it is ready for any potential power outages the thunderstorms may cause with fallen tree limbs.

"The hot weather we’ve seen these past few days can serve as fuel for thunderstorms and has the potential to create severe storms and damaging winds as the front passes and the weather changes," Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “We will be closely monitoring the front as it passes through, as conditions may change rapidly based on how the storm manifests.”

The utility recommended having a flashlights with fresh batteries, a battery-operated radio and clock, bottled water, canned foods and a manual can opener, a list of important phone numbers and a car charger for cell phones if applicable plus a first aid kit.

Revised map showing enhanced risk of thunderstorms for the Seacoast (NOAA)

As for the fireworks, they are scheduled to be launched at 9:30 p.m. in Hampton Beach. The piping plovers, which forced the cancellation of earlier displays, have moved away from the launch area.

The last group of piping plovers hatched ahead of time on Monday and have already moved a quarter mile north and away from the fireworks area, according to NH Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist Brendan Clifford.

"We roped off a small area for them. We put another wood pallet out for them for some shade and they've been feeding by the water," Clifford told Seacoast Current. "It's a better spot because it's a little less populated area of the beach."

During the fireworks display itself, Clifford and Susi von Oettingen of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be monitoring the sound for how the chicks react. The town of Hampton has also agreed to not blow off the loudest fireworks to protect the chicks.

The newborn chicks are very fragile and have been "brooding" and going underneath the adult birds to get out of the heat. The pallets will provide the only shade for them since most of the vegetation has been raked away.

Another concern is the chicks being stepped on because of all the people on the beach.

"There's so many people on the beach they need constant monitoring. We try our best but we have only so many man-hours and volunteers to cover everyone," Clifford said.

 

Piping plovers on Hampton Beach (NHFG/Christian Robinson )
Piping plovers on Hampton Beach (NHFG/Christian Robinson )

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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