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Beach-lovers flock to Seacoast to escape, enjoy record-high temperatures

  • Locals flocked to Hampton Beach to beat the heat wave in Hampton on Friday, May 31, 2013. Temperatures reached 94 degrees, setting a new record for May 31.<br/><br/>(TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff)

    Locals flocked to Hampton Beach to beat the heat wave in Hampton on Friday, May 31, 2013. Temperatures reached 94 degrees, setting a new record for May 31.

    (TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff)

  • From left: Steve Butabi from Gardner, Mass., Jack Dawson from Leominster, Mass. and Ben Grizz from Fitchburg, Mass., share a joke at Hampton Beach on Friday, May 31, 2013. Locals flocked to Hampton Beach to beat the heat wave as temperatures reached 94 degrees, setting a new record for May 31.<br/><br/>(TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff)

    From left: Steve Butabi from Gardner, Mass., Jack Dawson from Leominster, Mass. and Ben Grizz from Fitchburg, Mass., share a joke at Hampton Beach on Friday, May 31, 2013. Locals flocked to Hampton Beach to beat the heat wave as temperatures reached 94 degrees, setting a new record for May 31.

    (TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff)

  • Beach toys lie on Hampton Beach on Friday, May 31, 2013. Locals flocked to Hampton Beach to beat the heat wave as temperatures reached 94 degrees, setting a new record for May 31.<br/><br/>(TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff)

    Beach toys lie on Hampton Beach on Friday, May 31, 2013. Locals flocked to Hampton Beach to beat the heat wave as temperatures reached 94 degrees, setting a new record for May 31.

    (TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff)

  • Locals flocked to Hampton Beach to beat the heat wave in Hampton on Friday, May 31, 2013. Temperatures reached 94 degrees, setting a new record for May 31.<br/><br/>(TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff)
  • From left: Steve Butabi from Gardner, Mass., Jack Dawson from Leominster, Mass. and Ben Grizz from Fitchburg, Mass., share a joke at Hampton Beach on Friday, May 31, 2013. Locals flocked to Hampton Beach to beat the heat wave as temperatures reached 94 degrees, setting a new record for May 31.<br/><br/>(TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff)
  • Beach toys lie on Hampton Beach on Friday, May 31, 2013. Locals flocked to Hampton Beach to beat the heat wave as temperatures reached 94 degrees, setting a new record for May 31.<br/><br/>(TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff)

Only a few days after areas of New Hampshire experienced snow on Memorial Day Weekend, temperatures soared yesterday, setting a new record high of 94 degrees for May 31 in Concord.

The temperature narrowly beat the previous high of 93 degrees, recorded in 1987.

But rather than sit at home and wait until the scorching day passed, residents packed the state’s beaches in an effort to both enjoy the day and stay cool. At Hampton Beach, every parking lot was near capacity by early afternoon, evidence that some beach lovers would not let the early date of the season’s first heat wave keep them from the water.

Michelle DeChristophoro of Billerica, Mass., allowed her daughter Nicole to miss school in honor of the scorching day.

“We still have school until June 21 but (I) skipped,” Nicole, 15, said. “It’s nice, but it’s a little too hot today. I’d like it in the 80s.”

Logan Walsh of Chelmsford, Mass., played hooky as well. The 3-year-old spent his day off digging a hole near the ocean with help from his grandparents and filling up plastic water

bottles in the shallow surf with his older brother Kaidan, 5.

“We’re here instead of day care,” Dave Ellis, the brothers’ grandfather, said. “We took him (Logan) out for the day.”

For many beach-goers, yesterday’s trip to the ocean was the earliest they have visited the beach in recent memory.

After finishing his freshman year at Saint Anselm College, Sean Smith, 19, was able to visit Hampton Beach a few weeks earlier than he normally would because of the school’s end date.

However, Smith, a native of Hampstead, said the temperature was a little too high for him to really enjoy the beach day.

“The water’s still cold since it’s early in the year,” Smith said. “I’m sure when I come down later it’ll be a little warmer, I just never usually go to the beach in May.”

Although Smith said he can be found at Hampton Beach about three times per week during the summer, yesterday’s beach trip was unique for at least one of the dozen friends he spent the day with.

“I haven’t gone to the beach in two years,” Nessa Dziemian, 19, of East Hampstead, said. “I always have work. . . . But I had a day off today.”

But for some of those who frequent New Hampshire’s coastline in the summer, enjoying a day at the beach in May was not all that unusual.

“Last year we were here pretty early,” Michelle DeChristophoro said. “There were those two or three hot days. . . . I think there was one in March and one in April and we came.”

Lindsay Clawson of Boxford, Mass., remembered making a few trips to the beach for the record-high temperatures of spring 2012 as well. Even so, Clawson, 20, and Kelci Smith of Beverly, Mass., said going to the beach in May is unusual for them, and they normally would not be there until a few weeks into June.

The pair chose to make the most of the early summer heat and even ventured into the ocean.

“It’s cold but it’s awesome,” Kelci Smith, 19, said of the water.

(Mel Flanagan can be reached at 369-3321 or mflanagan
@cmonitor.com)

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