New England is on the precipice of returning intense heat and humidity Wednesday through Friday. Tuesday dawned with tropical showers – tropical in nature given the abundance of warm and humid air, evident by the many, small, soaking raindrops that left Eastern MA and Southern NH residents reaching for the umbrella headed out the door, but our First Alert Weather Team is predicting breaks of afternoon sunshine to bump temperatures to 80 degrees with noticeable humidity, but not yet oppressive. Although an afternoon isolated shower is possible late Tuesday, not many communities will see one, though the onset of increasing heat and humidity Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning will deliver a few showers and even some thunder to Northern New England. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday bring intense heat – high temperatures in the 90s – and oppressive humidity with dew points in the 70s, combining with the heat to produce heat index values of 95-100 degrees Wednesday and either side of 100 Thursday and Friday. The typical hot summer weather advice of hydration, lightweight & light colored clothing and limiting exertion during midday hours come back into view, along with providing opportunities for cooling to those who don’t have air conditioning, particularly in urban centers of Southern New England. Some afternoon showers and thunder are possible each afternoon in the heat and humidity, and wildfire smoke may drift through our New England sky over the second half of the week as the steering winds aloft shift. A cold front enters New England Saturday and will break down the heat and humidity over the course of the day, sparking several showers and thunderstorms as it marches across the six-state region, likely to deliver mild and less humid air Sunday into next week, with the second half of our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast looking pleasant and fair right now.