heat wave

Heat Wave Blankets Maine, With Another Day to Go

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Maine was not spared the impact of Thursday’s hot temperatures.

National Weather Service heat advisories swept from the southern part of the state through its inland far north and air quality alerts were up along its coast. More than 35 cooling centers were listed on the Maine Emergency Management Agency’s website as of Thursday mid-afternoon.

While the cooling area set up at South Portland’s community center was empty Thursday morning, parking lots at nearby Willard Beach were packed.

“I’ll take super hot over rain,” said Kayla Brennick, a mother from Gorham who was at the beach with other parents and their children.

“It’s a hot spot for toddlers,” said Heather Desrochers, also visiting from Gorham.

Thursday afternoon: Temps in 90s, heat index up to 107 in western Mass., humid and hazy. Wildfire smoke causes unhealthy air quality. Thursday night: Lows in 70s, chance for showers in west. Friday: Hot and humid, chance for p.m. showers and possible storms in west and northern New England. Heat index still reaching 3 digits in a few spots.

Meanwhile, up I-295 at Royal River Heat Pumps in Freeport, there was a cool, shady but packed warehouse.

“To get a designer out there for a quote we’re booking into the beginning of October, we’re also booking installations for the end of October right now,” said Zoe Oswald, the company’s general manager.

Oswald explained the hottest months of the year are generally Royal River Heat Pumps’ busiest, but people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed demand even higher.

“People want to condition the corner of that room they never really used before,” she said.

If you are considering installing a heat pump to cool an area, Oswald suggests making an appointment early in the year in January or February, since demand is much lower then.

Mainers in the area under the NWS heat advisory will not get relief immediately. It isn't expected to expire until Friday at 8 p.m.

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