AUGUSTA — Less than two weeks into autumn, summer-like conditions returned to Augusta on Tuesday, breaking the high temperature record for Oct. 3 set in 1983.

By mid-afternoon, the National Weather Service in Gray, had recorded a temperature of 83 degrees in the capital city, which was 4 degrees higher than the previous high of 79 degrees.

Ultimately, the temperature reached 85 degrees, tying the maximum temperature recorded for any day in October. That record was set on Oct. 1, 1954.

Sarah Thunberg, meteorologist with the weather service’s Gray office, said a high pressure system over Maine for several days allowed warm air to build up, reaching an expected peak on Tuesday before more seasonal temperatures are forecast to return.

It’s not unheard of to register temperatures in the 80s in October in central Maine. Some of those warmer October days have occurred relatively recently. In 2018, Augusta’s high temperature also reached 83 degrees on Oct. 10.

But it doesn’t happen often. In fact, the high temperature on any October day has exceeded 80 degrees only seven times in the last 30 years.

“Given that we are breaking a record, it is unusual,” Thunberg said.


This blast of heat follows what was the warmest summer on record globally and one of the warmest summers on record for Maine.

While there weren’t many very hot days, Thunberg said, overnight temperatures never got very low. That bumped up the average temperature for the season.

“It was so rainy and cloudy that the cloud layer didn’t let the warmth escape into space,” she said. “The cloud cover makes a blanket.”

As this week’s high pressure gets pushed out of the region, cooler temperatures are expected to return, along with some rain arriving late Friday and into Saturday. Thunberg said it’s too soon to khow much rain is expected or what locations will see the heaviest rainfall.

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