AUGUSTA — The city is opening the Civic Center as a cooling center Thursday due to forecasts of sweltering heat and humidity that could make it feel up to 96 degrees.

The Cumberland Room at the Civic Center at 76 Community Drive will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for anyone seeking relief from the heat, according to city spokesperson Haley Gauvin.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory today from 1 to 7 p.m. for Kennebec County, Androscoggin County and southern Somerset and Franklin counties. The interior parts of Waldo and Cumberland counties are also impacted.

Temperatures are expected to reach a high of 91 degrees in Augusta Thursday, with heat index values — a measure of how hot it feels when factoring in humidity — of up to 96, according to the weather service.

The agency warned that hot temperatures and high humidity could cause heat illnesses.

Thursday’s forecast comes on the heels of three record-breaking days of heat. The planet’s average temperature reached an unofficial record high Monday, then exceeded that record Tuesday and maintained it Wednesday, according to the University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyzer tool, which tracks the information back to 1979. The data is considered unofficial because it has not been validated by the National Weather Service.

The record-high values of Earth’s average temperature were 17.18 Celsius, or 62.9 degrees Fahrenheit, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The previous record, set Monday, was 17.01 Celsius, or 62.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heavy rainfall is possible later this weekend in central Maine, according to the National Weather Service.

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