Hot air blasted across the state on Thursday, breaking temperature records in central Maine and probably sending a rush of business to the local ice cream industry.

But Mainers overwhelmed by the new heat can take comfort: a cold front is expected to come through the state on Friday, pushing the warm air out.

“You probably wish you had your air conditioner in,” Chris Kimble, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said Thursday afternoon. “But you won’t need it by tomorrow. We don’t have any (similar) temperatures in the forecast for the next seven days.”

Around 3:30 p.m., the temperature in Augusta was 92 degrees, which broke the record high of 86 degrees that was set in 1989, Kimble said. Kimble did not have specific data for Waterville — the National Weather Service isn’t currently able to monitor there — but he said the temperatures were similar in much of central Maine. According to MaineToday’s HeatTrac, the temperature at the Waterville airport hit 91 degrees at 12:20 p.m., breaking the previous all-time high of 88 degrees set in 1977.

The heat came to Maine on a ridge of high pressure that originated in the southeast around Alabama and Georgia, Kimble said. It was exacerbated by a wind that was blowing from west to east, preventing the cool air over the Gulf of Maine from being swept inland.

After a cold front hits Maine on Friday, lower temperatures are forecast to remain through the weekend, Kimble said. The temperature is forecast to get into the 60s in Augusta on Saturday and Sunday.

On Thursday, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection also issued an air-quality alert, warning people with respiratory problems to limit strenuous activity because ozone levels could be elevated on and near the coast.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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