Mainers throwing open the sash on Christmas morning were greeted with record-high temperatures as a storm brought heavy rain and damaging winds.
The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for coastal Maine from Portland to Eastport and inland from Bangor as far north as Houlton through 6 p.m., while a wind advisory is in place for the rest of the state.
A warm air mass from the Caribbean brought stormy conditions Friday morning, with winds forecast to blow at a sustained 20 to 30 mph, with gusts reaching as high as 60 mph in Greater Bangor and up to 70 mph along coastal Hancock and Washington counties.
The weather service warned that the high winds could cause widespread power outages throughout the day Friday. As of 4:30 p.m., a relatively small number of outages have been reported across the state, with 1,194 in Central Maine Power’s service area and 2,916 for Versant Power.
That wind was accompanied by rain that could become heavy at times. Rainfall could amount to 2 inches over Greater Bangor and just under 2 inches along the coast. The heaviest rain is expected in the western mountains, where up to 3 inches could fall before the storm moves on, according to the weather service office in Gray.
Northern Maine will be spared the heaviest rainfall, with about an inch in the forecast.
This Christmas was the warmest on record for some places since 2014. Greater Bangor saw temperatures rise Friday morning to 56 degrees Fahrenheit, shattering the previous record high of 54 degrees set in 2014 and 2015, with records dating back to 1925, according to the weather service’s Caribou office.
A man walks down a Harlow Street on a rainy Christmas Day in Bangor as cars pass through downtown. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN
That’s warmer than Houston, where the Texas city saw temperatures hovering around 38 degrees Friday morning.
Caribou also saw a record high Friday with the mercury rising to 49 degrees, compared with its previous record of 48 degrees set in 2014, according to the weather service.
Elsewhere across the state, temperatures ranged from the high 40s to the low 60s before 6 a.m.