AUGUSTA — It’s hot.

On Sunday, Sam Helsel, 36, and his stepson Michael Rogers, 16, sought relief from the latest spike in daily temperatures by heading from their home in Chelsea to the northwestern corner of Augusta to Tyler Pond, the southernmost water body in the string of ponds and wetlands that stretch south from Messalonskee Lake.

“I actually went online and did a quick Google search and found it,” Helsel said.

“When it’s hot, the kids love to go in,” Helsel said, earning a double thumbs-up from Rogers.

At about the time they arrived at the pond late Sunday afternoon, the air temperature had reached about 84 and humidity was on the rise again.

While it doesn’t appear that any temperature records were broken in the last month, the weather that has moved through the region has brought with it humidity, thunderstorms with locally heavy rain and some flash flooding, and overnight lows that haven’t been terribly low.

At the midpoint of summer, the forecast is for more hot weather, but a cold front moving through the area later this week is expected to bring some rain and relief.

James Brown, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Gray, said the next few days will bring more hot, humid weather to central Maine.

“High pressure is parked off the mid-Atlantic states – some people call it the Bermuda High – it’s been stationary for the last week and half. It’s been pumping all that warm, moist air right into New England,” Brown said.

And more rain is expected.

By mid-July, the region was in a rain deficit, by between 4 inches and 6 inches.

Since then, Brown said, “a hell of a lot of rain” has fallen and more is expected this week. A disturbance is expected to shift into northwestern Maine from Tuesday into Wednesday, bringing some rain, but the cold front, which will arrive later in the week, will break the hot, humid pattern.

But before that happens, there will be a “decent amount” of rain over New Hampshire and Maine, Brown said. “There’s a big swath where the rain will fall,” he said. “It will be localized.”

And when the weekly drought assessment for the state is done, he said, conditions will show a marked improvement.

Helsel and Rogers weren’t the only ones drawn to the water Sunday. Floating Down the Kennebec, an event to raise money for the Kennebec Valley Humane Society, drew dozens of people in canoes, kayaks, floats, inflatables and motorboats.

When heading to the nearest swimming hole isn’t practical, Helsel and Rogers say they tend to stick to air- conditioned spaces, and grill outside as much as possible.

“And eat cold things,” Rogers said.


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