While much of the country has suffered longer with too much heat, Maine is not being left out.

“It’s hot,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Sarah Thunberg. “We’ve had heat advisories yesterday, today and last week. It’s been abnormally hot.”

She called Sunday’s forecast possibly the hottest of the summer so far.

The heat index, which combines temperature and humidity, hovered around 100 in York County on Sunday. Farther north, it felt like 95 degrees in Portland, Lewiston-Auburn, Augusta and Bangor.

The National Weather Service issues advisories when the heat index hits 95 for several hours. Advisories were dispatched for July 20 and 21, as well as the last two days. The only heat advisory in Maine this summer prior to last week was on May 22.

The frequent advisories “says a lot for how hot it is,” Thunberg said. “This massive, high pressure over us is not moving.”


Most of Maine’s southwest coast and midcoast regions also experienced unhealthy levels of ozone Sunday, stretching from Kittery to higher elevations in Acadia National Park, according to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. An air quality alert was in effect until 11 p.m.

Kids cool off in the water at Kiwanis Community Pool in Portland on Sunday. The heatwave in the Northeast continued on Sunday, with temperatures nearing 90 degrees in Portland. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

The immediate forecast shows some relief from a cold front Monday afternoon, “but it’s moving very slow,” Thunberg said.

In the meantime, the heat is sending people to air conditioned spaces, shade, beaches and pools.

Nancy Briggs-Coffin of Portland was among those waiting in line for the city’s Kiwanis Pool to open Sunday afternoon. She said her strategy for dealing with the heat is simple – drink a lot of water and go swimming.

Also in line were Michael Koharian of South Portland and his two sons. After frequent trips to Willard Beach, they were looking for a different spot Sunday.

Ilyas Munye, 12, cools off in the water at Kiwanis Community Pool on Sunday. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Malcolm, 12, said the heat is bothering him, “but I deal with it. I like to go to places that are air conditioned. Our house is air conditioned.” During heat waves he recommends that people avoid going outside in the sun, and sleep at night without a blanket.


His brother, Leland, 10, said the heat is getting to him, “a lot,” so he advises “laying down and not doing anything.”

Sarah Fitzpatrick of Portland brought her three children to the splashpad adjacent to Kiwanis Pool.

Fitzpatrick said she doesn’t usually mind the heat, but sleeping was difficult. And the dog was too hot. “I had to break down. Two days ago I put the air conditioners in,” she said. “I’m trying to be mindful of that it’s not so great for the earth, and my electric bill.”

After Monday’s cold front moves through, drier air is expected Tuesday, Thunberg said.

Meanwhile, the moderate drought continues in most of Maine.

Conditions are especially dry in southern Maine and New Hampshire, where two million are living in drought conditions, according to the National Weather Service. With the land so dry, in recent days there have been a number of structure and brush fires.

Other than thunderstorms, there’s no rain expected anytime soon, Thunberg said. To allow water to get into the soil, “we need a long, gentle soaking.”

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey contributed to this story.

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