By Dave Rogers
---- — Greater Newburyport area residents hoping to spend the Fourth of July watching the rocket’s red glare should be in luck, as the region is expected to avoid long periods of rain.
But those looking to be cool and comfortable while doing so may not be as fortunate: Temperatures are expected to reach 90 degrees. Add in a high dew point and the air will feel mighty muggy, according to a National Weather Service meteorologist.
Bill Simpson said there also remains the possibility of isolated showers during the afternoon and evening as the hot temperatures and high humidity could lead to thundershowers.
“If it happens, it will be relatively short-lived,” Simpson said.
In Amesbury, fireworks will be shot over Woodsom Farm at sunset. The festivities begin at 7 p.m. when local rock band Root 150 takes to the stage to entertain the crowd with a sonically exciting mix of hard rock, heavy metal and progressive music. Last year’s fireworks celebration was postponed two days due to a forecast that featured rain. But with clearer skies and temperatures reaching the 90s, the chances of a repeat of last year seems faint.
Salisbury will be the scene for a massive beach party featuring campfires and fireworks starting at 7 p.m. and going all the way until 10:30 p.m. Police are reminding attendees and all residents, renters and visitors that fireworks are illegal. Police will be patrolling the area for illegal fireworks use and will be issuing fines of $100 to those with open fires on the beach. Salisbury police Chief Thomas Fowler said he will be issuing additional patrols over the holiday to ensure people comply with state and local regulations.
As its annual tradition, Newburyport will shoot off its own fireworks next month as part of Yankee Homecoming.
Those traveling this holiday weekend will have plenty of company as AAA, the nationwide automotive club, is estimating that 40.8 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home. That’s a slight decrease from last year’s holiday, which saw 41.1 million people travel at least 50 miles from home during the holiday travel period from July 3 to July 7.
“This year nearly 41 million Americans plan to celebrate the nation’s birthday with a getaway, a slight decline from last year,” said Lloyd P. Albert, AAA Southern New England senior vice president of Public and Government Affairs. “This projection is due to the calendar effect of one fewer days in the holiday period and economic growth that is not robust enough to offset the impact of the sequester and the effect of the end of the payroll tax cut on American families.”
Travel from the New England region is expected to decline 1 percent over the holiday compared to 2012. Automobile travel is projected to fall 0.9 percent from last year, while air travel is expected to remain flat. The forecast indicates that 14.1 percent of New England residents will travel this upcoming Independence Day holiday period, which is higher than the national frequency of 12.9 percent, according to AAA Southern New England.
Keeping a closer eye on the region’s highways will be the state police, which announced it is beefing up its patrols during the holiday. State police have already announced that security in and around the Esplanade for Boston’s Fourth of July celebration will be enhanced greatly in light of the Boston Marathon bombings back in April.