DEAR SUN SPOTS: Where does the Sun Journal get its daily weather stats for the A-section weather feature? I’ve noticed huge discrepancies between what’s reported and reality.

For example, last Wednesday’s torrential rainstorm dumped more than 5 inches of rain, yet the total precipitation as noted in the For The Record feature was less than a quarter of an inch. Say what? — Just curious via email

ANSWER: The Sun Journal gets its weather information from a variety of sources. WGME Channel 13 customizes its local forecast for the Lewiston-Auburn region, the Associated Press provides the national weather map and national temperature records, while a variety of online sources provide the moon cycles, sunrise and sunset, and local temperatures and precipitation.

Much of this information originates with the National Weather Service, which compiles records for the entire country.

In 2013 Sun Spots had a similar question about weather records, although it was about snowfall, not rain. At that time she spoke to Tom at the National Weather Service. He noted that official weather records still depend on individuals who keep records, and cutbacks are affecting this agency as with so many others. Official weather watchers receive training and equipment, although in 2013 Tom said they were not recruiting weather watchers and were, in fact, losing some.

As for precipitation, Tom said that those records are no longer kept at the Lewiston station. The weather-watching station that had supplied data for about 10 years moved, and the automated site no longer records precipitation, just temperature, humidity and wind.

There is a station at Durham that supplies the area’s numbers. However, they are compiled before the end of the day, so they can be placed in the newspaper, which means that late-day rain or snow might not be included.

Those who have computers at home can check the weather up to the minute at or Just put in your ZIP code, and you can see what lies ahead. Or at least, what the meteorologists think will happen!

The NWS link for Lewiston’s weather forecast is Save this link on your desktop so it will be handy any time you want to check.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: A gentleman purchased two mallets at our yard sale Friday, Aug. 15, at 1062 College Road and then forgot them. I have held them for him. Please call me. — Irene, 783-4437

GOOD MORNING, SUN SPOTS: I am a faithful daily reader. You do such a good job with the column. I continually am amazed with all your knowledge and information.

I had special interest in the Aug. 19 window washing item. I called the first name on the list but the number was not in service. Either they are out of business or the telephone number had a typo? 

The second business was available, and I spoke with the owner and was pleased to learn that his business travels to Portland, South Portland and West Bath, where my adult children live and would want such a service. Thank you. — Faithful Auburn Reader

ANSWER: The company is probably out of business. Thanks for sharing that information. Perhaps other window washers will offer their services to make up for that loss.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am now a resident of a “living center” in Lewiston-Auburn. On a very limited income, I find a need for clothing. I need nice cotton trousers. I cannot seem to find pants with a 37-inch waist and 29- or 30-inch inseam. Might you know of an “economical” store where I can get pants that fit? — Mr. No Name, No Town

ANSWER: Have you tried Goodwill, the Salvation Army or other thrift stores? How about Marden’s?

You can also find some incredible deals online if you are persistent. Most major retailers, including L.L. Bean and Lands’ End, have a “clearance” section on their websites where stuff that didn’t sell is available. If you are not super picky about colors and style, you can find good-quality clothing at low prices.

At this link (, Lands’ End has no-iron chinos, traditional fit, in faded navy in a 37-inch waist for $21.99. They let you pick your inseam. In fact, for those, like Sun Spots, who have one leg longer than the other, they will hem the legs at different lengths!

You will want to watch for free-shipping deals, which occur regularly. If you register your email, you will be informed of such deals. L.L. Bean offers free shipping.

Readers, do you have any ideas?

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected]