Even Maine Has Heated Up This Week

At an ice cream shop in Maine, soft serve isn't selling
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 19, 2024 3:49 PM CDT
Millions Endure Scorching Heat, Sticky Humidity
Best friends Anna Labelle, left and Frankie Russell get creative to stay cool in Anna's backyard in Auburn, Maine, on Tuesday.   (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal via AP)

A blistering heat wave Wednesday extended from the Midwest to New England, leaving millions of people sweltering through the Juneteenth holiday, including in places like northern Maine that rarely experience such conditions this early in the year. The city of Caribou, Maine, 10 miles from the Canadian border, saw a record 103 degrees on the heat index, which combines heat and humidity, the AP reports. Several residents said they were used to temperatures in the 70s and 80s in June and rarely this humid.

"I've seen this maybe one time before where it's been this hot in June," said Hannah Embelton, 22, a server at an ice cream store in Caribou, adding that customers were staying away from the soft serve options that melt too quickly. Over at Moose River Campground, 13 miles from the border, owner Lisa Hall was fixing a cabin faucet and said such conditions are more common in mid-July or early August. "I am sweating like crazy, and it's way too hot," she said. The dangerous temperatures were expected to peak in the eastern Great Lakes and New England on Wednesday and Thursday, and in the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic on Friday and Saturday, the National Weather Service said. Heat index readings were expected to reach 100 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit in many locations.

"We are seeing a ridge of upper-level high pressure, which is bringing all this heat from the southern United States," said Kyle Pederson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boston. "That is just causing lots of hot temperature in the mid- to upper 90s and the heat index to reach over 100. It's just going to make it feel warmer than it is outside." The conditions were expected to scale back some Juneteenth activities and limit options for relief. Cities that opened cooling centers this week advised that Wednesday's Juneteenth holiday meant some public libraries, senior centers, and pools where residents could beat the heat would be closed. Officials urged people to limit outdoor activities and to check in with family members and neighbors who may be vulnerable to the heat.

(More heat wave stories.)

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