LEWISTON — Get ready for some thunder.

After a day of 90-plus degree heat and high humidity, Lewiston-Auburn area residents braced for an evening of storms Friday.

To be followed by morning storms Saturday. And afternoon storms Saturday. 

And more storms next week.

For those who aren’t a fan of thunder, there will be one bright spot. Literally.

“Sunday right now looks really nice,” said Tom Hawley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray.

The hot, humid, stormy weather is not uncommon for Maine in July, but it does have the potential to cause trouble.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection issued an air quality alert for Friday, warning of unhealthy ozone levels along the coast and moderately bad levels or people who are particularly sensitive inland in western Maine.

High ozone levels can cause breathing problems for children, adults who exert themselves and people with asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or other respiratory diseases, the DEP said.

The DEP expected air quality to get better Saturday.

After recovering from a spate of outages from thunderstorms earlier in the week, Central Maine Power began gearing up again to handle power outages from the thunderstorms expected Friday and Saturday. 

“We advised crews to have bags packed and come in and be ready to go if they need to go,” CMP spokeswoman Gail Rice said.

The National Weather Service said the Lewiston-Auburn area hovered around 90 degrees midafternoon Friday, with dew points close to 70.

“Very oppressive,” Hawley said.

Many people in downtown Lewiston felt every degree and dew point.

Laurel Smith and her boyfriend, Linwood Hanson, decided that lounging in Kennedy Park had to be better than staying in their Lewiston home, which was cooled only by fans. They claimed a prime spot: park bench under the shade of a tree.    

“In the sun it’s too hot,” Smith said. 

On the other side of the park, Celeste Nsuele had his own ways of coping: wear light-colored clothing and drink a lot of water. Originally from central Africa, he said Maine’s heat wasn’t as bad as its cold. 

“I’m used to this,” he said.

The National Weather Service predicted Saturday will be in the mid-80s, with dew points in the mid-to-upper 60s and thunderstorms rumbling through the area. Sunday is expected to be in the low 80s, with dew points in the more comfortable 50s.

Humidity will rise and thunderstorms are likely to return Monday and Tuesday before clearing out Wednesday. 

And Thursday? Deja vu.

“Looks like we might squeak out a nice day,” Hawley said. “Late Thursday afternoon, another front and more showers.”

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