AUGUSTA — It’s hot.

On Sunday, Sam Helsel, 36, and his stepson Michael Rogers, 16, sought relief from the latest spike in the daily temperatures by heading from their home in Chelsea to the northwestern corner of Augusta to Tyler Pond, the southernmost water body in the string of ponds and wetlands that stretch south from Messalonskee Lake.

“I actually went online and did a quick Google search and found it,” Helsel said.

“When it’s hot, the kids love to go in,” Helsel said, earning a double thumbs-up from Rogers.

At about the time they arrived at the pond late Sunday afternoon, the temperature had reached about 84 and the humidity was on the rise again.

While it doesn’t appear that any temperature records were broken in the last month, the weather that has moved through the region has brought with it humidity, thunderstorms with locally heavy rain and some flash flooding and overnight lows that haven’t been terribly low.

At the midpoint of summer, the forecast is for more hot weather, but a cold front moving through the area later this week is expected to bring some rain and some relief.

James Brown, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Gray, said the next few days will bring more hot, humid weather to central Maine.

“High pressure is parked off the Mid-Atlantic states — some people call it the Bermuda High — it’s been stationary for the last week and half. It’s been pumping all that warm, moist air right into New England,” Brown said.

And more rain is expected.

By mid-July, the region was in a rain deficit, by between 4 inches and 6 inches.

Runners sprint past the old grist mill Sunday in downtown Mt. Vernon at the start of the Loon Lap, a 5 kilometer walk and run around Minnehonk Lake. Temperatures were in the mid-80s during the frolic that raises funds for Greater Minnehonk Lake Association and Mount Vernon Community Partnership.

Since then, Brown said, “a hell of a lot of rain” has fallen and more is expected this week. A disturbance is expected to shift into northwestern Maine from Tuesday into Wednesday bringing some rain, but the cold front, which will arrive later in the week, will break the hot, humid pattern.

But before that happens, there will be a “decent amount” of rain over New Hampshire and Maine, Brown said.

“There’s a big swath where the rain will fall,” he said. “It will be localized, not widespread.”

And when the weekly drought assessment for the state is done, he said, conditions will show a marked improvement.

Helsel and Rogers weren’t the only ones drawn to the water Sunday.

Floating Down the Kennebec, an event to raise money for the Kennebec Valley Humane Society, drew dozens and dozens of people in canoes, kayaks, floats, inflatables and motor boats to put in the river at Hallowell’s boat launch around 10 a.m., and drift downstream to Gardiner’s Waterfront Park.

And in Mount Vernon, runners and walkers turned out for the Loon Lap, a 5K run and walk around Minnehonk Lake that raises money for Greater Minnehonk Lake Association and Mount Vernon Community Partnership.

When it’s hot, Helsel said the kids go to a swimming pool in Waterville when they are with their father.

“But we usually hit the ponds, and that’s our thing,” he said.

Having not yet been to Tyler Pond, Helsel said he has a favorite pond but he won’t tell anyone where it is.

“My favorite is Messalonskee Stream near the hospital in Waterville,” Rogers said. “I like that there’s a dock you can jump off of, and on the other side of the river, you can climb this tree and there’s a rope swing, so you can swing off the rope or jump off the tree.”

When heading to the nearest swimming hole isn’t practical, they said they tend to stick to air conditioned spaces, and grill outside as much as possible.

“And eat cold things,” Rogers said.

“Yeah, we’ve been doing a lot of ice cream,” Helsel said.

While Brown said next weekend could be cooler and drier, he couldn’t give a longer-term weather forecast, other than this: “Everyone knows it’s going to get cooler eventually.”

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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