PORTLAND, Maine — Portland smashed a 65-year-old high temperature record on Wednesday. The previous high of 59 degrees, set in 1953, gave way to a new record of 68 degrees under sunny skies. In Sanford, the snow melted even faster, as thermometers rose into the 70s. According to the National Weather Service in Gray, the average high temperature for Feb. 21 is only 39.5 degrees.
With school vacation week in full swing, families and dog walkers flocked to the sands of Old Orchard Beach. Children ran in the water and made castles in normally frozen, snow-covered sand. On the shore in South Portland, around Bug Light, kites were flying and cyclists rode circuits around puddles and shrinking ice sheets in the shade.
In downtown Portland, people could be seen in sleeveless shirts and shorts, outdoor seating at restaurants and bars attracted crowds during the lunch hour, as professionals took the opportunity to soak in the warmest temperatures in months.
Further north, in Bangor, the temperature didn’t break 50 degrees, seeing a high of only 48.
Southern Mainers shouldn’t get used to the warmth, though. The Weather Service is calling for highs in the 30s for the rest of the week and snow is likely Thursday into Friday.