With the Independence Day holiday weekend upon us, most New Englanders not only are prepared for heat, but expect it – this year won’t disappoint. Friday’s high temperatures in the middle 90s for some don’t reach dangerous levels dangerous, particularly with limited humidity much of the day keeping any potential for heat index (elevated “feels like” temperatures) in check, but certainly those with outdoor plans can be impacted by the heat, with hydration and sunscreen two big essentials. The breeze will increase from the southwest Friday midday and afternoon with the arrival of a weak warm front – the leading edge to increasing humidity – and not only will New Englanders feel the humidity steadily rising during the afternoon and evening, but an isolated thunderstorm or two may develop on the leading edge to that more humid air, particularly from Southern to Central New England between 2pm and 6pm Friday evening. Thereafter, clouds will gradually fill in overnight Friday night with a muggy and mild night, then showers, downpours and thunder will arrive in scattered form from west to east after midnight, toward dawn. Saturday likely will dawn with at least some pockets of showers, downpours and thunder, and while the entirety of the day won’t rain, much of the Southern half of New England will see recurring showers, downpours and thunder from time to time over the course of the day, morning until early evening. Northern New England improves dramatically after lunch Saturday as new, drier air arrives, with the leading edge of that new air – a cold front – triggering the final round of downpours and thunder when it arrives to Southern New England from mid-afternoon in Southern NH and Northern MA to early evening at the South Coast. With the passage of the cold front later Saturday, the door opens to a brand new air that will not only lower the risk of showers and thunder substantially for July 3rd and 4th, but will also provide lots of comfort and terrific weather for fireworks on both nights with evening temperatures in the 70s and dry weather expected. Next week is a classic early July week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast, with scattered storms on some afternoons – particularly Tuesday, Friday and Saturday – and high temperatures either side of 80.