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Temperatures likely to slowly cool in August

CARIBOU, Maine — After communities across the state saw record setting heat and Caribou experienced its warmest July on record, officials at the National Weather Service in Caribou said Friday to expect temperatures to slowly cool as the month progresses.

Mark Bloomer, meteorologist for the NWS in Caribou, said that after an extended period of above average temperatures, Mainers will see temperatures creep down by degrees during the month. The temperature drop accelerates during the second half of the month.

This follows a July in which the average high for the month at Caribou was 70.9 degrees 5.3 degrees above average. The previous all-time warmest month at Caribou was recorded in July 1970, when the average temperature over the 31 days was 69.6 degrees. The weather service has been keeping such records in the area since 1939.

While other communities matched or beat daily records in July, no other area of the state hit a record for warmest month.

July is typically the warmest month of the year in Maine, but Caribou experienced 22 days last month, including July 31, that registered 80 degrees or higher. That was the most 80 degree days on record for any month in Caribou.

Bloomer said that the state’s weather has been dominated much of last month and into the first week of August by a strong tropical pressure system.

“That has brought humid air into the north, [creating] the high temperatures and humidity.”

The warmest temperature ever observed during the month of August was 95 degrees on several occasions, most recently Aug. 2, 1975. A temperature of 34 degrees — the coldest ever recorded for the month — also was observed several times, most recently on Aug. 25, 2003.

A light frost is possible during the last ten days of August this year, according to Bloomer.

The top three warmest average temperatures recorded by the NWS in Caribou for the mont of August were: 68.2 degrees in 2015, 68 degrees in 2012 and 67.2 degrees in 1944.

The lowest average temperatures during the month were: 58.5 degrees in 1964, 58.6 degrees in 1941 and 1982, and 58.7 degrees in 1956.

Bloomer said that the frequency of thunderstorms, especially severe storms, also begins to drop off in August. However, it will remain an active month for thunderstorms, including those that produce damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes, according to the forecast.

The all-time wettest month in Caribou was in August 1981 with 12.09 inches recorded, which also included the all-time wettest 24-hour period at Caribou with 6.89 inches. The rainfall likely resulted from moisture from Hurricane Dennis which passed off the middle Atlantic coast.

Both residents and visitors basked in the mild temperatures Friday in Aroostook.

Cara Johannes of Concord, New Hampshire, has brought her two children to The County to spend at least two weeks with friends and family in Presque Isle every year for the past decade.

She said she could “hardly believe it,” when her mother told her upon her arrival that heat records were being broken in the area and that weeks of temperatures of 80 degrees or higher had graced the state.

“We have been here now for ten days, and I think we have only had a few brief showers,” Johannes said Friday. “Our entire vacation has been hot and sunny and we’ve been exploring the local lakes. It really is the nicest weather we’ve seen while visiting here in a decade.”

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