Wednesday, December 11, 2013
PORTLAND - The first day of summer hit hard Wednesday, bringing record-setting heat to some places and humidity that drove Mainers to beaches, backyard pools and swimming holes.
Max Bordas, 9, takes to a pool in Kennebunk on Wednesday. “It was warm everywhere,” said meteorologist Mike Cempa. Conditions should be a little less oppressive today, with a sea breeze cooling things off to about 90 degrees along the coast.
Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer
Shealynn O'Brien, 6½, of Portland splashes around at Deering Oaks park as temperatures soared into the 90s on Wednesday.
Derek Davis/Staff Photographer
Portland tied a record high temperature for June 20 that was set nearly 50 years ago.
Mike Cempa, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, said the temperature at the Portland International Jetport reached 93 degrees -- equaling the mark set in 1964.
Sanford hit 93 degrees, while Augusta and Bangor each reached 92 degrees. Houlton, up in Aroostook County, broke its previous high of 89 degrees, set in 1988, by recording a high of 90 degrees.
"It was warm everywhere," Cempa said.
Summer started officially at 7:08 p.m. Wednesday. In Old Orchard Beach, officials said downtown stores and the beach were jammed with people during the day.
"When I looked out my office window (at the top of Main Street) I could tell summer had arrived," said Assistant Town Manager Louise Reid. "The stores were busy and the beach was packed. The weather helped and most kids are out of school."
Old Orchard Beach Deputy Police Chief Keith Babin said the town was quiet earlier in the week, "but with the weather being as good as it was, things bloomed overnight."
Babin said lifeguards, who were setting up their stations for the summer on Wednesday, responded to several rescue calls.
"Nobody hit 100 degrees, at least not officially," said Cempa, the meteorologist, but it may have felt like 100 degrees because of the heat index, which was running several degrees above the actual temperature because of the humidity.
"The heat index is like wind chill. It can feel warmer than it actually is," he said.
Conditions should be a little less oppressive today, Cempa said, with a sea breeze along the coast cooling things off to about 90 degrees.
On Friday, a front moving through the region will drop temperatures into the mid-80s.
Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:
Correction: A photo caption with this story was revised at 10:50 a.m., June 21, 2012, to correctly identify Shealynn O'Brien, 6½, of Portland.