Memorial Day holiday could be warmest weekend yet

 High temperatures are shown for 8 p.m. Monday, May 30, 2016.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE High temperatures are shown for 8 p.m. Monday, May 30, 2016.

Break out the sunscreen and sunglasses, if you haven't already.

The three-day Memorial Day holiday looks to be the warmest weekend so far this year, with heat indexes expected in the 90s.

But a steady breeze and low rain chances will make for great weather for boating and outdoor activities.

The three-day weekend is the unofficial start of summer -- which officially starts June 21 -- but the temperatures are already ahead of schedule.

Meteorologist Robert Ricks with the National Weather Service in Slidell said this weekend's temperatures are expected to be slightly above average, and a week or two ahead of schedule.

"It should be probably the warmest so far this year, but it's still spring," he said.

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Daily highs should start in the upper 80s Friday and Saturday, climbing a degree or two each day into next week.

"It looks like for the Gulf Coast it'll be 88, 89, pushing 90 degrees maybe even mid 90s further inland in parts of the coastal counties," he said.

The humidity levels -- average for this time of year -- will make it feel even hotter, but Ricks said there should be a steady breeze through the weekend.

"There'll be enough wind to keep it somewhat bearable," he said.

Any rain will come from isolated afternoon showers, depending on the breeze from the Gulf of Mexico.

"We're getting to the time of the year where basically the sea breeze dominates," he said.

Out on the water, expect a mild chop and winds about 10 knots from the south.

This week is National Boating Safety Week, and the U.S. Coast Guard urges boaters to have life jackets, a signaling device and a marine-band radio aboard their vessels, as well as a float plan shared with someone trustworthy, and a vessel safety check.

"Many of us are just too hesitant to wear a life jacket for a variety of reasons," said Ed Huntsman, recreational boating safety specialist for the 8th Coast Guard District. "Put the people who love you first. Find a life jacket you like, and wear it for them."

During daytime peak heat, the weather service advises caution when engaging in strenuous outdoor activities.

As always, stay hydrated and have shade available, even if it's only a beach umbrella or a wide-brim hat.

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