The Fitzgerald family was on the way to Willard Beach in South Portland on Tuesday when the rain returned. But they kept driving, and a light drizzle did not stop them from enjoying a walk on the damp sand.

“We’ve learned to differentiate between a little rain and heavy rain,” said Brian Fitzgerald, 51.

A dreary June has forced that lesson. They’ve tried to get out of the house as often as possible and not let the wet weather dampen their spirits. But they’ve been wishing for summer barbecues and nights around the fire pit at their home in Portland (“We’ve only had one so far,” said Beth Fitzgerald, 46), and wouldn’t it be nice to break out the boogie board?

“I’m waiting for summer to start,” said Maggie Fitzgerald, 16.

The Fitzgerald family did not let a little drizzle stop them from enjoying a walk on Willard Beach on Tuesday. Megan Gray/Staff Writer

It has been so gray that the National Weather Service dubbed “June Gloom” the theme of its monthly climate summaries for southern Maine. The Portland International Jetport recorded 5.68 inches of rain in June. (Although that’s still barely half of the record 10.86 inches in 1917.) Gray, Augusta and Bangor all had similar precipitation totals last month.

“There were 16 days during the month that the Portland area received measurable precipitation with an additional eight days with a trace of precipitation,” the report says. “When it wasn’t raining, it was often cloudy, with the frequency of midday overcast skies nearly twice that as the climatological average.”


Adam and Gavin Burk decided to brighten their day with onigiri rice balls from Norimoto Bakery in Portland’s Deering Center. The father and son hope to spend more time paddle boarding this summer, and 10-year-old Gavin was planning to attend his first Sea Dogs game of the season that night. But so far, they found an indoor sport for rainy days.

“We play squash at Portland Community Squash,” said Adam Burk, 43.

The Cimitiles decided July 4 would be a beach day no matter what. It was pouring when Rob Cimitile arrived at Willard Beach with 6-year-old Julian and 5-year-old Desi that morning, but they donned their matching Spiderman lifejackets and launched themselves into the surf without a thought for the weather.

“They don’t care, so I have to not care,” said Cimitile.

Cimitile said his family has spent a lot of time at home or at the public library so far this summer. But the sun came out when they visited Boston to celebrate Juneteenth, and they are hoping it might make another appearance for a fried seafood feast sometime soon. A visit to the Lobster Shack at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth or the patio at Susan’s Fish-n-Chips in Portland is a summertime must.

“Shrimp, scallops, fried clams,” said Cimitile, ticking off their favorites. “French fries and ketchup, that’s a necessity.”


Rob, left, and Julian Cimitile enjoyed the waves at Willard Beach in South Portland on Tuesday. They are hoping for a nice day for fried clams and French fries on a patio at some point this summer. Megan Gray/Staff Writer

Down the sand, 44-year-old Nick Caiazzo of Portland was hoping to catch some fish himself. He cast his line in the waves while April Caiazzo relaxed under a blue pop-up tent. He had only caught seaweed so far, but the forecast and the lack of fish weren’t going to stop him from enjoying a day off from his job as a carpenter.

“It’s not going to ruin our Fourth of July,” he said cheerfully. “I work too hard.”

April Caiazzo, 50, sat with a red-and-blue towel over her legs. Their spot was secluded and quiet, nothing like a hot July day would have been at the popular beach.

“It’s nice to have the beach to ourselves,” she said.

The Western Promenade was quiet, too, as Patty Howells of Portland walked her dog JoJo on Tuesday morning. Her goal for the summer was to enjoy more live music at Thompson’s Point, and she didn’t mind the morning drizzle because the skies were clear the night before for the concert with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.

“I did get the tip to wear boots,” she said, but a little mud couldn’t dampen an otherwise dry evening.


In the meantime, Howells has been busy indoors.

“I’m trying to do all my chores that I’ve been putting off,” said Howells, 56. “By the time the sun comes out, all my chores will be done.”

And when, exactly, will the sun come out?

Greg Cornwell, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said the rain might be back this weekend, but Wednesday and Thursday should offer a reprieve with just a chance of spot showers.

Lauren Donohue, left, and Tim Stoker are visiting from New Jersey and got to the Eastern Promenade in Portland early to claim a prime spot for the fireworks show, which was canceled due to wet weather. They said they would try again on Wednesday. Megan Gray/Staff Writer

That’s good news for Lauren Donohue, 21, and Tim Stoker, 23. They are visiting Portland from New Jersey, and they are hoping to see the Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay and Crescent Beach in Cape Elizabeth during their trip.

They got to the Eastern Promenade hours before the planned fireworks display to claim a prime spot on the soggy hill and two Cargo Pizza Company pies, and they hadn’t yet heard that the show was postponed a day for weather. They settled in for a picnic anyway.

“We’ll be in the same spot tomorrow,” said Stoker.

CORRECTION: This story was updated at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 5, 2023 to correct a misspelled name.

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