For two consecutive days, high temperatures in Portland have come close to reaching the dreaded 100-degree mark, and the city has broken or tied high-temperature marks on both.

But change is on the way, forecasters say. And for some along the coast, short-term relief arrived in mere minutes Monday.

News Center Maine meteorologist Keith Carson tweeted at 12:10 p.m. that the temperature at the Portland International Jetport had plummeted from a steamy 95 degrees to 78 in about 20 minutes.

Cooling down playing at the Deering Oaks Park splash pad on a hot summer day on Thursday, August 4, 2022. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Inland areas weren’t so lucky, but the National Weather Service in Gray is forecasting a high in Portland on Tuesday of just 83 degrees, followed by a high of 72 Wednesday and then 70 Thursday.

“It may still feel warm Tuesday, but the heat should break on Wednesday,” said Stephen Baron, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The past week or so has been challenging for most Mainers, at least for those who don’t like heat and humidity. On Sunday, Portland set a new record high for the date of 96 degrees, breaking the old record of 93 set in 2001. Baron said Portland suffered through another blistering day Monday, tying its record high of 95 degrees for the date set more than 70 years ago in 1949.


“With record heat yesterday and near-record heat today, Portland experienced its second hottest first week of August on record (since 1944). This was helped by the fact that Portland also set a record high minimum yesterday. It only got down to 74 degrees,” the National Weather Service said in a Facebook post.

But that changed along the coast Monday at around noon. Carson, during his evening forecast Monday, said the “back door cold front” along the coast was one of the most significant temperature drops he has seen in his career.

Baron also took notice of the 17-degree drop.

“It was caused by the sea breeze,” Baron said. “It was certainly impressive. It was one of the strongest sea breezes I’ve seen.”

Unfortunately for places such as Sanford and Fryeburg, there was no such help. Sanford, with a high of 97 degrees, and Fryeburg, with a high of 93, clocked in with some of the state’s highest temperatures Monday, according to the weather service.

Rain is also in the forecast for the coming week, but the storms won’t bring the prolonged, soaking rain that the state needs to break out of its drought. Baron said scattered showers and thunderstorms are in Portland’s forecast for Tuesday.

Maine’s Drought Task Force convened virtually on Thursday and reported that eight of 16 counties are experiencing severe drought. The Task Force concluded that drought conditions are not expected to improve in the short term.

Drought conditions are also contributing to more wildfires. There have been 533 wildfires this year, burning more than 350 acres, according to the Maine Forest Service.

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