FORT KENT, Maine — Temperatures and records were falling around northern Maine Monday morning as some communities woke to thermometer readings in the double digits below zero, according to the National Weather Service.
“We saw the all-time record low for April Monday morning,” said Rich Norton at the National Weather Service’s Caribou office early Monday. “There were a lot of minus readings.”
Caribou, Houlton and Presque Isle each set all-time April cold records with 6 a.m. temperature readings of minus 4 degrees at Caribou, minus 12 degrees at Houlton and minus 13 degrees at Presque Isle.
The record low marked two in a row for Houlton, which set its previous record low of minus 7 degrees on Easter Sunday morning.
Caribou’s previous record April low was minus 2 degrees set on April 2, 1964, and Presque Isle easily bested its previous record of 4 degrees recorded April 2, 1964, according to the weather service.
Temperatures to the south were quite warm by comparison — the National Weather Service office in Gray was at 28 degrees Monday morning.
“It’s quite warm here compared to northern Maine,” said Tom Hawley, meteorologist at the Gray weather office. “Up north you had clear skies and when that cold air settled in [overnight] all that warm air you got Sunday radiated right out into space.”
Over the weekend, Caribou also broke its daily snowfall record for April 4 with 7.1 inches of new snow, breaking the old record for that date of 5.3 inches set in 1975.
Things should start to improve as the week moves on, according to the weather service.
Temperatures in northern and central Maine this coming week will slowly trend upward from the 20s and 30s on Monday, to the 40s throughout the area on Friday, then close to 50 Saturday and Sunday of next weekend.
Bangor could pick up 1 to 2 inches of snow overnight starting Monday evening before things begin to warm up.
“Once the warmer weather is here it should last well into next week with no return of Arctic air in sight,” according to the NWS website.
Temperatures around the southern part of state will be several degrees below normal for the better part of the week, according to the NWS, but things will improve with the long-range forecast.
“Next week we are certainly going to start to see above normal and normal temperatures,” Hawley said. “So there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.”