Sherwood Island at capacity, gates closed

The 90-plus degree temperatures may not have made it to the beach yet but patrons eager to catch some holiday rays certainly have.

The state Department of Transportation closed off Sherwood Island State Park before 10 this morning as hordes filled the waterfront park in Westport. An electronic sign on Interstate 95 southbound alerted would-be beach goers to find another patch of sand for the afternoon as Sherwood Island had reached capacity.

By 11 a.m., it appeared Seaside Park in Bridgeport was not far off either, with barbecues and volleyball nets filling the esplanade along West Beach and family picnics taking hold of the park’s green space.

The temperature had only risen to 82 degrees at 11:30 a.m., but the sun bathers up and down the sand had only a short time to wait until some of the summer’s strongest rays yet set in over the shore.

The National Weather Service expects today’s heat index to rise as high as 100 degrees as crystal clear skies threaten to push backyard parties inside for a respite from the beating sun.

Temperatures in Fairfield County are not expected to exceed 91 degrees, but add to that the humidity that persists in the area and it could make for just too much sun. The heat index is calculated by combining the temperature and relative humidity to gauge how hot it will feel.

The high temperatures in the forecast prompted NWS to issue heat advisories in Hartford and New York City from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The mercury should rise past 90 at about noon Today, pushing the heat index toward 100 until late afternoon, NWS said.

NWS warns those outside today to drink plenty of water and stay out of the sun when possible.

Dennis O'Malley