Scot Gardner of St. Francis does a back flip into the deep pool below "Jacuzzi Falls" on the Fish River in Fort Kent as temperatures soared well above 80 degrees Fahrenheit in late September. Credit: Don Eno | SJVT/FhF

CARIBOU, Maine — The lack of rainfall that has plagued much of the state this summer continued last month, with Mainers experiencing mostly drier than normal weather coupled with above average temperatures.

Mark Bloomer, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Caribou, said Wednesday that at most of the climate sites across the region, September averaged between five and six degrees above average.

It was the third warmest September on record in northern and central Maine and the second warmest September in Portland.

Bloomer said that the temperature spike was caused by a “very strong upper level ridge of high pressure that moved into the region.”

“This was pretty significant and it pushed warm air up here,” he said.

Meteorologists at the NWS said that the month started out cool and then turned progressively warmer. The warmest spells included Sept. 11-17 and Sept. 19-27. He added that from Sept. 23-26, the region saw four straight days when temperatures were above 80 degrees, and that Millinocket and Houlton recorded temperatures in the low 90s on Sept. 26. Portland saw five straight days with temperatures of more than 80 degrees from Sept. 23-27.

“That was unusual,” said Bloomer. He noted that the average temperature for Bangor in September was 65 degrees, which was 6.7 degrees above normal. In Caribou, the average high of 61 degrees was 6 degrees above normal, while the 60.8 degree temperature in Houlton was 5.5 degrees above average for the month.

In Portland, the average temperature was 64.6 degrees, which was 4.5 degrees above normal.

Lack of rainfall continued to be an issue in the region in September, according to meteorologists. Rainfall across the region ranged from 65 to 100 percent of normal, with northern locations generally receiving more than Down East.

The region picked up 3.13 inches of rain last month, which was 0.19 inches below normal. Bloomer said most of the rainfall occurred between Sept. 3 and 6, but there were very scant amounts that fell afterward until Sept. 27. From Sept. 10-26, Caribou went 17 straight days without measurable rainfall.

In Portland, 2.23 inches of rain fell in September, which was 1.46 inches below average and the fourth consecutive month of below normal precipitation for the city.