Get ready for some record-breaking weather.

Temperatures in Portland are expected to reach the 70s today, depending on the influence of cooling sea breezes.

That’s far above the normal of 43 degrees for this date and the previous record high of 60, set in 1946.

Thank the jet stream for the unusually warm weather, today and for the past few months. It normally blows from east to west, but recently it has been more south-to-north, pulling warm air from the Gulf of Mexico, said Chris Legro, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

“When we get into these situations where it’s a highly north-south flow, it’s tough to break that pattern,” he said Tuesday. “That’s why we’ve seen so many days of nice warm weather here.”

That weather has accelerated all things spring.

Early arrivals have birders chatting about their sightings, including American woodocks, red-winged blackbirds, pine warblers and Eastern phoebes, said Mike Windsor, staff naturalist at Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm in Falmouth.

Windsor spotted an Eastern phoebe there on March 13. Its average arrival date in Maine is April 7.

“This is kind of a time of anticipation for us nerder-birders,” he said. “There’s a listserv for all these kinds of sightings through the state of Maine. People have been expressing surprise.”

Gardeners also have been spotted earlier than usual.

Shoppers last weekend snapped up the rest of the first crop of pansies grown by Skillins Greenhouses.

Last year, the first crop lasted through April, said Mike Skillin, a co-owner of the business, which has locations in Falmouth, Cumberland and Brunswick. He estimates that business is up 10 to 20 percent from where it normally would be at the start of spring.

“We’ll take that. We haven’t seen those kinds of increases for a while,” he said.

At Cumberland County Choppers and Cycles in Portland, customers are buying and taking their motorcycles out of winter storage earlier than usual. Scooter sales have also been active, because of the combination of warm weather and high gas prices.

“It’s pretty busy throughout the day — service and sales,” said Peter Gordon, the owner.

At Gorham Bike and Ski in Portland, the warm weather has been good for the bike part of the business not so good for the ski portion, said Cody Harris, a saleswoman.

She said the shop started getting busy about three weeks earlier than normal. That includes a group that’s unusual for this time of year: men.

While women shop around when the weather is still cold, men normally don’t show up much until April, she said. “Women plan ahead, so women buy ahead, whereas men are last-minute shoppers.”

Maple sugar producers are also running ahead of their normal schedules.

Jocelia Hartwell of Jo’s Sugar House in Gorham said many in the business pulled their taps from trees last weekend because the sap isn’t running as it normally would. Hartwell’s taps are still in, but only because she hasn’t had time to remove and clean them, a two-day process for her operation.

A rule of thumb says 20 degrees at night and 40 degrees during the day make for a good run of sap. That hasn’t been happening lately, and Hartwell has noticed that the sap is cloudy.

“One place where I have a few tubes coming into a collection point, it was almost milky. I just dumped it,” she said.

The sugar content is also off, so it’s taking more sap to produce a gallon of syrup. Hartwell estimates that her production will be down 30 percent this year.

It may not help with maple syrup production, but Legro of the weather service said a cold front is expected to come through the area Friday. Even so, he said, temperatures will remain above normal.


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