The climate of Maine
has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) throughout the state with warm, humid summers and cold winters. It is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, Canadian provinces New Brunswick and Quebec to the north, and New Hampshire to the west. Maine is the easternmost contiguous state of all American states, which borders exactly one American state, New Hampshire, and is the northernmost and coldest state in New England.
Maine, the Pine Tree State, is the most forested state in America, with 83% of its land under forest cover. The state is home to temperate broadleaf and mixed forests, including mixed oaks of the northeastern coasts and the New England Acadian forests. The hinterland consists of lakes, rivers, forests, and mountains, while the rock-bound shores have numerous fishing villages, beaches, and thousands of offshore islands. The 230-mile coastline consists of uneven terrain of rocks and cliffs with many bays and inlets.
Maine summers are one of the most comfortable statewide in the United States, with average high temperatures of 70°F (21.1°C) in the peak of July
. Nights are temperate during the summer season. Winters are cold with average low temperatures of 12°F (-11.1°C) in January
with abundant snowfall throughout the state. Spring is a little rainy with warm temperatures, while autumn is colder than the summer and full of bright colors. The average annual precipitation in the state is 76" (1930mm). Snowfall averages to the tune of 75" (1905mm) during the winter, mainly from November
. Coastal areas rarely have 15 to 20 annual days where the snowfall exceeds 1" (25mm), although a typical Northeaster storm may deposit more than 10" (254mm) of snow in a day.
Maine records an average of 203 sunny days in a year. Northern and western Maine is usually colder during the winter than the coastal parts of the state due to the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean, while the coasts are generally colder than the interiors during the summer. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year in most parts of the state, while coastal Maine usually has dry summers.
Tornadoes, cyclones, and thunderstorms are rare and mostly occur in the southern part of the state.
Maine's record high temperature is 105°F (40.6°C), set at North Bridgton on July 1911, while the record low temperature is -50°F (-45.6°C), set at Big Black River in January 2009.
The best time to visit Maine
The best time to visit Maine
is during summer from June
, which is the peak tourist season, with pleasant temperatures, mainly in the coastal areas of the state.
Throughout the state, the summer sun is in the temperate zone as high temperatures occasionally cross 80°F (26.7°C). Far away from the coast, the hinterlands and the mountains experience brilliant fall foliage in September
during the autumn due to the variety of trees and vast forest cover.
For winter sports lovers who do not mind the cold weather, November
brings joy in the ski season.
The worst time to visit Maine
, during the winter, is generally the worst time to visit Maine
The night temperatures often drop to 0°F (-17.8°C) and sometimes even below, while the day temperatures are around the freezing 32°F (0°C) during the peak of the cold season. Maine winters are cold even during the day as the sun disappears for long hours, sometimes even for days.
However, the ski season gains from the vast snow accumulation, and it is a fun time for ski enthusiasts. Most of the hotels close during the winter, and the off-season rings discounts for a few tourists who brave the cold weather.
sees numerous cold storms during the winter season. Northeasters, the storms that occur during the winter in the northeastern part of the United States, bringing freezing rain and large deposits of snow - sometimes above 10" (254mm) in the space of one day. Visibility is highly reduced, and the roads are treacherous to travel due to the accumulation of snow and black ice. Fog is a hazard during the cold season - on the roads as well as for the ships that sail near the coastal areas.
Weather in January
is the coldest month of the year in Maine
, as the daily high temperatures are regularly below freezing. Day high temperatures even in coastal areas like Portland average cold 31°F (-0.6°C), while the nightly lows are approximately 13°F (-10.6°C). Weather in January »
Weather in February
is a chilly winter month in Maine
with the average low temperatures in the cold -3°F (-19.4°C) to 15°F (-9.4°C) zone and the average high temperatures in the chilly 26°F (-3.3°C) to 35°F (1.7°C) range across different areas of the state. Augusta, the capital of the state, which lies in Central Maine, has average temperatures in the 15°F (-9.4°C) to 32°F (0°C) range. Weather in February »
Weather in March
is cold even though it is the end of the winter and begins the spring season in Maine
. The average low temperatures are still well below freezing, while the average high temperatures are chilly 34°F (1.1°C) to 42°F (5.6°C). The start of the spring sees an increase in the sunshine up to a daily average of 7 hours, but the rain is persistent and averages 4" (102mm) to 5" (127mm) in the state. There is no let down in the snowfall as most of the areas, including those near the coast, gather 10" (254mm) to 15" (381mm). Weather in March »
Weather in April
sees a rise in temperatures with the average high temperatures in the 47°F (8.3°C) to 53°F (11.7°C) range, while the average low temperatures are in the 26°F (-3.3°C) to 36°F (2.2°C) zone. The amount of snowfall drops substantially and is approximately 5" (127mm) in most regions in Maine
. Weather in April »
Weather in May
sees temperatures on the warmer side in Maine
as the nightly lows rise above the freezing point. Throughout the state, the average temperatures are 37°F (2.8°C) to 65°F (18.3°C), as the cold and rain decrease substantially. Snowfall is almost nonexistent by May except a few places on the mountaintops. Weather in May »
Weather in June
begins summer in Maine
and with it the tourist season due to its temperature conditions that are rare in most parts of the United States. Across the state, average high temperatures are in the warm 50°F (10°C) to 75°F (23.9°C) range with rare extremities in temperature. The average humidity is the least across the state, with the coastal areas usually more humid than the interior lands. Weather in June »
Weather in July
is the hottest month of the year in Maine
and is the peak of the tourist season. Tourists flock to attractions like the Acadia National Park, the only national park in New England where temperatures are in a pleasantly warm range of 59°F (15°C) to 79°F (26.1°C). Weather in July »
Weather in August
is a typically warm month during the summer of Maine
with average temperatures in the warm range of 51°F (10.6°C) to 79°F (26.1°C). Newcastle on the coast is between 58°F (14.4°C) to 76°F (24.4°C), while Presque Isle in northern Maine averages 54°F (12.2°C) to 77°F (25°C). It is a little wet with 3" (76mm) of rain across the state, but the precipitation is not usually strong to affect travel plans, and the sun appears in the sky for extended periods. Weather in August »
Weather in September
starts the beautiful autumn season with the average high temperatures around the 70°F (21.1°C) mark. While the day temperatures rarely touch 80°F (26.7°C), the nights are in 45°F (7.2°C) to 50°F (10°C) range. Rain does not fall short of expectations and is to the tune of 4" (102mm), so it is always advisable to have some rain protection. Weather in September »
Weather in October
is in the middle of the wonderful autumn in Maine
with temperate days and mildly cold nights. Temperatures throughout the state are in the average range of 33°F (0.6°C) to 58°F (14.4°C), which make it slightly on the cold side compared to early fall. Rainfall registers up to 5" (127mm) in many parts of the state, and the conditions are wet but interspersed with sunny periods - daily sunshine lasts for 7.5 hours as the sun and clouds play hide and seek with each other. Fall evenings see cozy fires lit in fireplaces of inns and lodges as the temperatures start to drop. Weather in October »
Weather in November
ends the autumn and starts the transition to the cold weather in Maine
. Many parts of the state see average low temperatures dropping to the range of 22°F (-5.6°C) to 25°F (-3.9°C). Average high temperatures in November are 40°F (4.4°C) to 48°F (8.9°C) that makes the days feel cold, especially when the wind speeds rise above normal. Weather in November »
Weather in December
is a cold winter month in Maine
that usually experiences temperatures below freezing for most of the day. In northern Maine, such as Fort Kent, the average high temperatures are 25°F (-3.9°C), while the average low temperatures are around a freezing 6°F (-14.4°C). Weather in December »