Hot weather triggers air quality alert in parts of Maine

Posted Aug. 17, 2015, at 9:14 a.m.
Last modified Aug. 17, 2015, at 9:20 p.m.

GRAY, Maine — A hot, humid stretch of weather continued to scorch most of the state Monday, prompting the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to issue an air quality alert, according to the National Weather Service.

The air quality alert remained in effect all day Monday in parts of York, Cumberland and Sagadahoc counties, according to the weather service’s Gray forecast center.

Temperatures throughout the day hovered around 90 degrees with high humidity and high heat index.

With air quality alerts in effect, children, the elderly and those with heart disease are advised to limit prolonged or heavy activity outdoors.

Exposure to to elevated ozone layers can cause breathing difficulties and aggravate asthma and other lung diseases.

People also are advised to avoid using small gasoline-powered engines such as lawn mowers, tractors, chain saws, power washers, string trimmers and leaf blowers.

And if the forecast holds true, Tuesday will be another scorcher.

Meteorologist John Cannon of the weather service’s office in Gray said that Tuesday’s forecast calls for similarly sultry weather.

“It might even be a degree or two warmer,” Cannon said Monday night.

The end to the stickiness was in sight, however.

Cannon said that Tuesday’s heat was expected to be the peak for the week and cooler weather should be moving into Maine on Wednesday. Dry weather in the 70s is forecast for the coming weekend, he said.

BDN writer Dawn Gagnon contributed to this report.