The oppressive heat that held all of Maine in its grips for most of the weekend is expected to fade by Monday morning, when a new weather system will usher in a week of more seasonable and mostly mild weather.

“A cold front is coming in that will knock down those high temperatures on Monday,” Eric Schwibs, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, said Sunday evening.

In Portland, the forecast calls for a sunny start to the day on Monday with highs in the mid-70s. Schwibs said there is a strong chance of heavy rain Monday night. Tuesday will be mostly cloudy with temperatures in the low 70s, but after Tuesday the forecast is for sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s through Saturday.

Though the heat on Sunday may have seemed oppressive, no records were set. The high in Portland reached 94 degrees, but the heat index – the combination of humidity and air temperature – made it feel like it was 96 degrees, Schwibs said.

Those numbers fell short of the record high temperature for the day, which was 99 degrees in 1977.

Meanwhile, Central Maine Power Co. was dealing with another widespread power outage in York County on Sunday night, the second outage to affect the county this weekend.

CMP spokeswoman Catharine Hartnett said that hundreds of customers in York Harbor and York Beach lost power around 6:30 p.m. due to a transmission line outage. As of 6:30 p.m., more than 7,700 customers were without power in York County, with most of those in the town of York. That number had dropped to more than 5,260 at 9:39 p.m.

The cause of the outage in York was a damaged transformer at the York Beach substation, according to Hartnett. A mobile transformer will be brought in, but it could take several hours before power can be restored, she said late Sunday night.

By 7:30 a.m. Monday, the number of outages in York had dropped to 2,629. CMP estimated power would be restored by 8 a.m.

On Saturday night, nearly 8,000 customers lost power in York County on the hottest day of the summer. The interruption of power was also caused by a transmission line outage and originated in Sanford. Hartnett said the Sanford outage was likely resulted from high demand load.

The weekend heat was a boon for Range Pond State Park in Poland, according to manager Adam McKay, as more than 3,000 people visited Saturday, making it the park’s second-busiest day of the season, behind the Fourth of July.

“We had a line coming into the park in both directions that was three hours long,” McKay said. “There was a ton of traffic, and by the end of the day we had 3,000 people at the park.”

He said Sunday had a big wave of people visiting Range Pond early in the day, and that it was likely to become “another 2,000-person day.”

McKay said he heard state parks on the ocean, such as Popham Beach and Reed State Park, reached capacity before noon and had to close their gates.

Sunday’s heat took a toll on Portland firefighters, who spent several hours extinguishing a roof vent fire at a building on Commercial Street. Fire Chief Keith Gautreau said two firefighters were evaluated at the fire scene for heat exhaustion, but did not have to be admitted to the hospital.

“A lot of the firefighters were hot and they were tired, but they did a great job. I am proud of them,” Gautreau said.

The heat index soared into the 90s for many cities and towns in Maine on Sunday. Portland was near the top at 96, but Lewiston’s heat index as 97 degrees. Fryeburg made it to 89, Augusta 88, Rockland 93, Waterville 85 and Wiscasset 93, according to the National Weather Service.

In an effort to inject humor into an otherwise uncomfortably hot weekend, the National Weather Service posted a chart on its Facebook page titled “How Cold Can We Go?”

Schwibs said Augusta reached 50 degrees on July 21, 2000, and Portland came in at a chilly 45 degrees on that date in 1943.

Sun Journal Staff Writer Matthew Daigle contributed to this report.


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