June on record as one of the wettest ever in Maine

A pedestrian walks crosses Hammond Street during a downpour on Friday.
A pedestrian walks crosses Hammond Street during a downpour on Friday. Buy Photo
Posted June 30, 2013, at 6:34 a.m.
Last modified June 30, 2013, at 1:33 p.m.

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A pedestrian crosses a rain-soaked street in downtown Bangor on Friday.
Kevin Bennett
A pedestrian crosses a rain-soaked street in downtown Bangor on Friday. Buy Photo
A pedestrian walks through West Market Square during a downpour on Friday.
Kevin Bennett
A pedestrian walks through West Market Square during a downpour on Friday. Buy Photo

LEWISTON, Maine — You say you have a pond where you should have a lawn?

The tomato plants — the second ones you’ve planted — are drowning?

Your family’s bicycles, golf clubs, baseball bats and lawn chairs are rusting?

You’re not alone.

This month has been the sixth-wettest June on record since 1871, according to the National Weather Service in Gray.

“It’s been quite wet,” meteorologist Tom Hawley said Saturday, with one day left in the month. “We’ve had 7.32 inches of rain. Normal would be 3.57 inches.”

Measurable precipitation had fallen on 14 days. If you count the days where there was a sprinkle but not enough rain to measure, June had 20 days with precipitation, Hawley said.

“We’ve just been in a perfect pattern [for rain],” he said. In March and April the weather was quite dry. “The pattern just flipped.”

The rain has caused all kinds of plans to change.

Friday was supposed to be the opening day for the Lewiston-Auburn Canoe and Kayak Rental at Auburn’s Festival Plaza. But it was a washout, said Jeff Parsons, who owns the business with his wife, Pattie.

“We just sat there with rain dripping down our necks,” Jeff Parsons said.

Compared with Friday, Saturday’s weather was good, with some overcast skies and a bit of sun. But many people called off their river outings.

“We were geared for a big day today,” Parsons said. “We’re getting close to July and the Fourth of July. But we’re sitting around twiddling our thumbs.”

If the morning weather is bad, people cancel, he said.

This is the second year for the Lewiston-Auburn Canoe and Kayak Rental, an offshoot of the couple’s Bethel Outdoor Adventures business.

There’s much interest in recreation on the Androscoggin River, Parsons said, adding that both cities are backing the development.

“It’s a wonderful switch from using and abusing the river to promoting it as a place to go paddling,” he said. The only thing missing is “a little bit of good weather.”

David Handley, a vegetable and small-fruit specialist at Highmoor Farm in Monmouth, said rain is taking a toll on gardens.

Because the weather was too cold and wet, many people planted late; others are still waiting to plant.

“A lot of early plants didn’t make it,” Handley said. “We’re still looking for a dry period for the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.”

Too much rain turns the lower leaves of plants yellow, then they fall off.

“They look very unhappy,” Handley said.

He recommends being generous with fertilizer, since rain washes away nutrients plants need. And, he said, it’s not too late to replant early maturing varieties.

At Jillson Farm in Sabattus, Ed Jillson said his vegetables are OK, but the rain has slowed down production.

“It’s just too wet,” he said.

“We needed water,” he said. Now he’s had enough.

“I would like no more rain, but I’m afraid the forecast has more.”

Right he is.

The good news is that Sunday is expected to be nice with less chance of rain. The forecast is for sun with a chance of showers and thundershowers, according to the National Weather Service.

But after Sunday, keep your rain gear handy.

Precipitation is predicted for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the Fourth of July.

Rain could be heavy on Tuesday, with 1 or 2 inches before it clears, Hawley said.

It won’t be rain all the time, he said. Some days will see some sun and clouds. But it’s not the best time to be on vacation.

“This week doesn’t look that good,” Hawley said. “It looks very unsettled.”

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