A lightning bolt streaks through the sky during a storm on July 30 in Madawaska, Maine. Above-average temperatures were the norm for much of the state last month, while several areas saw below-normal precipitation. Credit: Contributed

CARIBOU, Maine — Kara Gregory of Presque Isle said Thursday she was constantly reminded last month of why July is her favorite time to be in Maine.

“Most of the time, it seems like the sun shines every day,” she said. “There is a sense of celebration that kicks off on the Fourth of July and seems to last all month, and you can just feel the heat that you waited all winter for.”

Sun-loving residents were not let down by the weather last month, as above-average temperatures were the norm and records were set in some areas, according to the National Weather Service in Caribou.

Meteorologist Greg Cornwell said that Caribou saw an average temperature of 68.7 degrees last month, which was 3.1 degrees above the normal temperature of 65.6 degrees.

The city received just 2.49 inches of rainfall, which was 1.59 inches below normal.

“It was a very dry month, definitely,” Cornwell said Thursday. “We didn’t receive much rainfall at all in Caribou.”

Houlton saw an average temperature of 68 degrees, which was 2.3 degrees above normal. The community saw its highest temperature of 92 degrees on July 30. Houlton saw 1.83 inches of precipitation last month, which was 1.83 inches below normal.

In Bangor, the average temperature of 71.5 degrees was 3 degrees above the normal value. A high temperature of 93 degrees was recorded July 20, and residents saw five days in which the temperature reached 90 degrees or higher.

The city, in contrast to Caribou, saw above-average precipitation for the month. Bangor saw 4.46 inches of precipitation, which was an inch above average.

In Portland, July was the warmest month on record in the city since the National Weather Service in Gray began compiling records nearly 80 years ago. The average temperature for the month was 72.9 degrees, which beat the previous record of 72.7 degrees set in July 2011.

There were four days last month in which Portland residents saw a temperature of 90 degrees or higher.

Cornwell said that central and northern Aroostook residents saw a swath of heavy rainfall and wind from a system that moved through the area on Wednesday evening.

“The system came through Ashland and Mapleton and then tracked north,” he said. “Some areas saw very heavy rain and wind, as well as thunder and lightning.”

Up to 2 inches of rainfall accumulated in southern Piscataquis County.

Presque Isle picked up .38 inches of rainfall from the system, as did Caribou. A wind gust of 45 mph was recorded at the NWS office in Caribou due to a line of thunderstorms.

Temperatures are expected to decline slightly throughout the month of August.

This story originally appeared on the Fiddlehead Focus.