FORT KENT, Maine — Arctic high pressure will drive temperatures into the single digits in central Maine and to below zero in the St. John Valley by Monday evening, according to the National Weather Service.

“This is really more normal,” Maureen Hastings, forecaster with the National Weather Service in Caribou, said Monday morning. “It may be a little below normal for this time of year but not abnormally low.”

Temperatures are expected to reach 2 below zero by Monday afternoon with a wind chill factor making it feel like minus 14 in northern Maine, according to the National Weather Service.

During the day Tuesday, wind chills in the north will be 17 below zero and 23 below zero Tuesday night.

In Bangor, the temperature will drop to 2 below zero on Tuesday and 7 below zero Tuesday night.

“It will stay cold through midweek and then we will start to see temperatures moderate a little as we head into late week,” Hastings said.

The single-digit and below-zero temperatures are a departure from last week, when record highs were tied or broken around the region with 48 degrees recorded Christmas Day in Caribou, matching the old record of 48 degrees set on that date in 2003.

Christmas temperatures in Bangor rose to a record 54 degrees, beating the old record of 51 degrees set in 2003.

Residents along the St. John and Allagash rivers reported open water and ice running, something unusual but not unheard of at this time of year, according to Hastings.

Overall, according to Hastings, the month of December has run 5.5 degrees above normal.

“We have been kind of spoiled,” she said. “But now we are returning to normal and going into January, when we know it gets cold.”

Julia Bayly

Julia Bayly is a reporter at the Bangor Daily News with a regular bi-weekly column. Julia has been a freelance travel writer/photographer since 2000.