July has been hot, but it has not been the hottest one on record in central Maine.

Even as the temperature around the region spiked in the last two days of the month — including readings in the mid-90s on Tuesday — that was not enough to shatter any records for the region, such as they are.

Michael Cempa, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, said Wednesday that the average temperature for July in Augusta was 72.5.

“The normal is 69.5 degrees, so this July is three degrees warmer than normal,” he said. “So it’s been the fifth-warmest July on record, tied with 2010 and 1994.”

The average temperature is determined by taking the daily average from each day’s high and low temperatures, then calculating the average of the daily results, Cempa said.

Honors for the hottest July go to 1952, when the average temperature for the month was 75 degrees. Rounding out the top five warmest Julys are 1999 at 74.1 degrees, 1973 at 73.9 degrees and 1971 at 73 degrees.


“If you look at the top 20 years, 10 of the warmest Julys have been since 1990,” Cempa said. “Of those 10, eight have been since 2000.”

What he calls “solid data” dates back only to 1950, so weather records for central Maine are not considered comprehensive.

In mid-July, a wave of oppressive heat and humidity sent people in central Maine looking for relief, and several municipalities opened cooling centers or waived fees to parks.

Cooling off through the decades: Historical photos of Mainers beating the heat

Sean Goodwin, emergency management director for Kennebec County, said no cooling centers have been opened as the result of this latest heatwave.

“The only thing we have noticed is that Forest Service reports that things are starting to dry up,” he said. “They start to dry up this time of year anyway.”


While the spring was damp and cool, rainfall this summer has not been consistent and has been localized.

“It rained a little in Augusta (Tuesday) night, but up north it rained buckets,” Goodwin said.

This brief foray into hot and humid weather was expected to draw to a close Wednesday with a line of storms pushing through the area. In their wake, August is expected to start with less humidity.

“It will still be in the 80s, but there will be lower humidity,” Cempa said. “Friday will be a little cooler and very comfortable. Then it will start warming up and getting more humid over the weekend.”

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