Q:

What is the climate of Maine?

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Quick Answer

Maine, despite its location high on the northern Atlantic coast, enjoys a climate with four distinct seasons. As with many locations, temperatures and precipitation patterns vary in Maine throughout the year. Maine contains unique geography, complete with coastal areas, high mountains and riparian lands that all contribute to its climate and weather.

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Full Answer

Meteorologists classify Maine into three different climactic zones. These areas include the northernmost region, the southern area and the coastal area. The coastal region includes the part of Maine extending from the Atlantic seaboard 20 miles inland. This region enjoys moderate temperatures year-round. Its winter temperature averages above those elsewhere in the state, although its summer highs fall below the state average. In the wintertime, this part of Maine experiences subzero temperatures, but only for approximately 20 days out of the year. It features a relatively flat terrain and covers just 10 percent of Maine's land area.

The southern climate zone reaches across 30 percent of Maine's surface. Its topography resembles that of the coastal area, with flat lands, marshes and rivers. The northernmost region covers 60 percent of Maine's surface. This area contains hills and mountains, which influence local climate.

The northern climate zone sees mild summertime highs, averaging 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Its winters bring cold temperatures for extended periods of time; according to the Maine Tourism Association, this area experiences up to 60 days of subzero temperatures every year.

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