Quinn St. Peter-Scott, left, and Joe LeBlanc assess their capsized sailboat Thursday on Taylor Pond. The Edward Little High School sophomores were taking a sailing lesson from Taylor Pond Yacht Club instructors when they capsized and decided to stay in the water as a way to beat the heat. Capsizing is common fun while sailing small sailboats such as this Laser. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — At about 3:30 p.m. Thursday, a group of about 30 kids in bright orange T-shirts were seen walking down Walnut Street, looking soggy in the 90-degree heat. They crossed Bates Street, ambled through Kennedy Park and patiently made their way to the municipal pool. 

After that, there was no reason for the kids to look soggy or patient. They went straight to the sprinklers and in a mad flurry of flailing arms and legs, began to do battle with the heat of the day. 

The children had come from the Root Cellar, as it happened, and by the time they got there, the pool was already filled with dozens of locals out to find relief from the heat.

“It’s been very busy,” said Maddie LaFlamme, assistant director of the municipal pool. “The Root Cellar kids always come down here when it’s hot. The kids are behaving really well today — they know they have to behave or else they won’t be able to be in the pool.” 

It wasn’t so much the heat as it was the humidity, as the saying goes. The air felt thick and sticky and the kids were wise enough to take no risks that might get them booted out of the coolest spot in downtown Lewiston. 

“It’s been a scorching summer,” said Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline, “and I’m glad we have a pool and splash pad open for the kids this year.”


How hot was it? It got into the low 90s in most areas while some inland portions of the state saw temperatures creep even higher. The heat index, a formula for measuring what the heat actually feels like to the human body, was reported at around 100 in parts of New Hampshire and Maine. 

Unless you were splashing around in the pool or in some place blessed by air conditioning it felt plenty hot indeed, and sitting next to a pool wasn’t enough to keep a body cool.

“I know for a lot of the staff, it’s really hot out here,” LaFlamme said. “They’re not fans of just sitting around when it’s this hot. I mean, who would be?” 

The good news for the pool staff was that they were welcomed to get in the water themselves, once they were on a break or off-duty. 

“They’ll jump in eventually,” LaFlamme said. 

Sailing instructors Simon Hall, left, Molly Skelton, center, and Grace Skelton organize a sailing race Thursday on Taylor Pond in Auburn. Quinn St. Peter-Scott, back left, and Joe LeBlanc are advanced sailing students at Taylor Pond Yacht Club. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Heat in August isn’t exactly novel here in Maine, but weather forecasters say there is something a bit unusual about this particular heat spell. 


“What is unique about this heat,” said weather forecaster Mike Haggett, who runs Pine Tree Weather, “is the region is under its third heat advisory where the area typically receives on average one per summer.” 

Want to know why it’s been so hot so frequently? Haggett can give you the science behind that fact, too.  

“We’re seeing the effects of the Bermuda High, which is a blocking feature over the western Atlantic Ocean, which, given the recent La Niña, has been missing from our recent summers,” he said. “This allows for a prolonged period of juicy air, from the mildly tolerable to the insufferable levels of humidity. This current meteorological phenomenon could have impacts through the middle part of next week, making it the longest stretch of excessive summertime humidity since July of 2020.” 

Elsewhere were predictable scenes. There were lines at most ice creams places across the area. There were massive displays of fans, air conditioners and other cool gadgets at the hardware stores. Those who could escaped to beaches and then gloated about it with photos on social media. 

Several places, including libraries in both Lewiston and Auburn, were offered up as ‘cooling centers‘ during the hottest part of the day. 

According to Haggett, cooler temperatures will return at some point, but there is more heat to be endured in the meantime. 

“Hope is on the horizon,” he said, “but it won’t happen until later next week. The pattern we saw back in June into early July of upper-level troughs dominating our pattern giving the region near average temperatures and dry conditions appears to return as we head into the middle part of August.” 

Quinn St. Peter-Scott cools off his feet Thursday on Taylor Pond in Auburn. The Edward Little High School sophomore was taking his advanced sailing lesson from Taylor Pond Yacht Club when he decided to dip his legs into the cool water. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

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