American humorist Kin Hubbard wrote, “Don’t knock the weather. If it didn’t change once in a while, nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation.” Now I don’t know if that’s necessarily true for everyone, but the weather of 2017 certainly did give us something to talk about.

The third warmest year for the entire globe, 2017 was the 10th warmest on record for Maine, with an average temperature of 47.6 degrees — 1.1 degrees above normal, according to the National Weather Service office in Portland.

Another indicator of the heat: 2017 took over second place for the number of days in Maine with a high temperature of 70 degrees or higher. There were 122 days in 2017 with high temps of 70 degrees or above. Only 1941 beat it, with 126 days, according to records compiled since 1941.

It was also the third consecutive “drier than normal year” for the state.

As usual, those of us who call Maine home had our fair share of weather drama, but the majority of us take it all in stride. As one friend put it when I fussed about him going out in snowstorm: “It’s just another day in Maine.”

If you need to be reminded, 2017 offered up a January that was warmer than both February and the sub-zero temperatures of March, the month that featured a good old-fashioned blizzard and ushered in a cold spring — if you ignore one May day’s record heat.

When summer came along, it was dry as a bone but stayed on the cool side. The unbelievably warm fall ended with the mother of all windstorms. Wind and heavy rain wreaked more havoc than the Ice Storm of ’98 during the last week of a very warm October and even postponed Halloween in several Maine towns.

Just as things were getting back to normal — whatever that is around here — we were treated to the coldest December we’ve had in nearly 30 years, complete with a Christmas morning snowstorm that left many scurrying to alter their holiday plans.

As per usual, we survived. For all you closet (and non-closet) weather geeks out there, we offer on these pages a data-filled review of 2017’s weather — with much help from the National Weather Service’s Portland climate summary.


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