The good thing about the cold, miserable, wet weather on the Seacoast for the Memorial Day weekend is that the rain will help alleviate the near drought situation.

Otherwise, it's a big disappointment to many who were looking forward to spending time outdoors on the first near "pandemic free" holiday weekend.

The forecast calls for cloudy skies Saturday and rain all day Sunday into Monday. Temperatures will be cool in the 50s and into the 60s on Monday which is almost 25 degrees lower than the normal high temperatures in the Seacoast for the end of May, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Margaret Curtis.

She expected the Seacoast to get the most rain with up to an inch-and-a-half to fall through the end of Tuesday.

"There's been a little bit of rain on Memorial Day in several of the past years but the last big washout was in 2003," when over an inch of rain fell in some areas of the state, Curtis told Seacoast Current.

The rainy forecast is also a disappointment to Valerie Rochon, chief collaborator for the Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth who expects numbers to be down.

"We can do all the marketing we want and expectations we want but Mother Nature is in charge," Rochon told Seacoast Current. "It is a long holiday weekend and hopefully people will be willing to go out and about and those who are comfortable going indoors will. Those that don't and are looking for outdoor dining might be a little more challenged."

Rochon said that retailers will also be affected by the wet weather because of lower foot traffic but hotels might be okay.

"If they made a reservation and you expect to get away for the weekend whether it's raining or not you're still getting away. I think the hotels with pre-reserves will be okay but might miss out on some of the last minutes," Rochon said.

York's Wild Kingdom opened for the season without social distancing, capacity limits or mask mandates in place since all were lifted by the state of Maine. The rain may keep some of the animals indoors, according to the park's Facebook page.

The good thing about the rain is that it will help with the southern part of New Hampshire's in "abnormally dry" drought condition, according to Curtis. Rainfall is running 1.55 inches below normal for the month before Saturday and year-to-date nearly five inches below normal.

"Anything we can do in terms of extra precipitation is really going to help," Curtis said, adding that conditions are not quite as dry as they were at the end of 2020.

"It will be good to keep to keep those wells filled and grass greened up for summer," Curtis said.

Conditions prompted the city of Dover to residents to conserve water and to water outdoors only when necessary "to ensure an adequate and sustainable supply of drinking water throughout the summer."

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

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