AUGUSTA — Record-breaking high temperature brought golfers and other central Mainers out in droves Wednesday.

The temperature in Augusta reached a peak of 64 degrees Wednesday afternoon, topping the previous high of 59 degrees set in 2012, according to James Brown, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray. Those records date back to 1948. The high in Waterville was 62 degrees, according to the weather service, but it was not clear whether that was a record, because the agency does not keep temperature data for the city.

Brown said the record high temperature isn’t expected to continue. The forecast for central Maine indicates a high of around 55 is expected Thursday, then cooling to around 50 on Friday. The weather will warm somewhat back into the 50s for the weekend, then drop into the 40s by Tuesday.

The warm weather has allowed people to resume activities such as golfing at a time of year when they normally still might be cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

Natanis Golf Course opened Feb. 26, a record early opening, said Rob Browne, general manager.

Wednesday’s high temperature had brought, by 4 p.m., 118 golfers to the Vassalboro course.

“That’s a pretty good number for this time of year,” Browne said. “Usually, in the spring, if you get 40 or 50 people, that’s a good day.”

Browne said Natanis has 21 holes open, out of its 36 holes spread over two 18-hole courses.

“If things keep drying out, we might be able to open some more holes,” he said.

The course’s previous earliest opening day was March 1.

Browne noted the mild winter allowed Natanis to stay open late in the season, too. It didn’t close until Dec. 27. So people now have played golf there every month except January.

Spring was already in the air at Longfellow’s Greenhouses, in Manchester, even before Wednesday’s 60-plus temperature.

Heather Doucette, retail manager, said the business has been busy for the last several days.

She said it’s still too early for people to be able to plant gardens outside, but not too early for plants to be started inside, then transplanted outside later.

“People would still be jumping the gun to put things outside now. There’s still a risk of snowstorms and frost,” Doucette said. “But we do have seeds that can be started inside, some flowering spring plants, and all sorts of seed-starting supplies. Plus, some people just come here because it’s a good place to come to get a little touch of spring.”

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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