The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

A Very Maine Weather Forecast

Moving across the country or even a couple of states over can be scary. From the unfamiliar area to the new people, you can get overwhelmed by the loads of details. Well, this article is here to guide you to the climate and weather aspects of your exciting new chapter at Bates. 

With a strong four seasons, most of the time, there is no doubt Maine is an exciting place to live climate-wise in my opinion. In fact, Maine weather and temperatures are so unpredictable that some of the time meteorologists get it wrong. It doesn’t help that with recent climate changes we have been experiencing “once-in-a-lifetime” or “record-breaking” weather events more often. From living in the area for 19+ years, I’ll give you an overview to the best of my capability.  

Late Summer

First, we have the end of summer from August to around mid-September. The temperatures can range from 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit (10-32 degrees Celsius).

It rained for the entire month of June this year and does rain quite frequently, so an umbrella or rain jacket will be helpful. Believe it or not, you can still go swimming even during the rainy season! If the ocean is too cold, try nearby ponds and lakes. 

During this time, you could do things like picnicking in the Quad or hanging out by the Puddle (the small pond outside of Page and Olin). There is also a farmer’s market in downtown Lewiston that is open on Sundays from 9:30 – 1:00 p.m. It may not seem like the best weather, but please take advantage of the sun and the warmth. In two months it will be colder and you will miss the sunny days.


Next is one of the coolest seasons: fall. During this point, you will see the leaves on the deciduous trees turn from green to orange and yellow. It’s beautiful. However, this means there will be more flux temperatures. It could be 70 degrees Fahrenheit one day and 40 the next (21 and 4 degrees Celsius respectively).

For this season I would recommend bringing a fleece of some sort; it’s not going to be terribly cold but the night will be a little chilly. During this time, fun activities would be to walk around campus or the surrounding area and go leaf peeping! The leaves will look as if someone took the sunset and put them on the tops of the branches — which helps make fall one of the coolest and most beautiful seasons in Maine. 



Alright, this is the one you’ve been waiting for: Winter! This season is usually from November to March but it can span as late as April and early as October. It just depends on the year. The temperatures here could be wonky but usually are going to be 10 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (between -12 and 10 Celsius). Last year we had a record-breaking -40 degree day (Fahrenheit and Celsius are the same at this temperature) but there’s a reason it was record-breaking: it doesn’t happen normally. 

In short: yes, it’s going to be cold, and sometimes even colder with the windchill. But don’t worry! The snow can be an interesting break from the heat in the summer and as long as you prepare for it, you will be fine!

The biggest change for many of you might be the fact that Maine usually has plenty of snowstorms and ice storms. Don’t worry: the snow isn’t going to come all in one night. It will snow, then melt, then repeat that cycle until something sticks. Then the snow will sort of build up over the course of the months and then slowly disappear at the end of the season. 

Driving conditions can change drastically when you’re driving in the snow. Regular tires would not be safe in the snow; I recommend having all-season tires at a minimum. If you plan to have a car on campus during the winter, it would be helpful to get a shovel and an ice scraper to clean it off after the snowstorms.

This also goes the same for walking. I recommend snow boots or “snow cleats” (also known as microspikes) to help with traction on slippery sidewalks. A jacket that can handle temperatures down to 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit should be sufficient for the winter; you can pair that up with layers to keep warm. Along with the jacket, having gloves/mittens and a scarf/hat can come in handy as well. Finally I would recommend having some sort of a mat for your room: the streets are de-iced with sand and salt, which can get messy when you track it into your dorm.

During this season there are many things to do! Skiing and snowboarding are the most popular sports, but there’s also ice skating, sledding, cross country skiing, ice fishing, and tubing! Some of the popular downhill skiing mountains are Lost Valley (free tickets and fairly priced rentals for Bates kids), Black Mountain, Mt. Abram, Pleasant Mountain, Sunday River, Saddleback, and Sugarloaf. There are plenty of local trails open for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Some people even like to walk around the towns of Freeport and Lewiston when the holiday lights are put up.

False Spring (and Real Spring)

This odd  season is colloquially referred to as false spring because it isn’t the traditional “spring”. Yes, it marks the end of winter; however, it is a weird point between spring and winter when the snow is on the ground but it’s melting. This season starts in around March and runs until April, before the real spring starts. This season usually has average temperatures of about 30-60 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 and 15 degrees Celsius).

After the snow melts the trees will start to bloom and the flowers will start to peek through the soil. Then, within the span of a couple weeks, it will go from false spring to real spring to early summer rapidly. During the melting of the snow the great falls between Lewiston and Auburn usually gets a lot of the runoff water and it’ll be huge and beautiful. It is definitely worth checking out.

Early Summer

Although it is called summer, this season doesn’t mean sweltering temperatures. Early summer starts around May and can last until late June. Usually it will be around 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit (10-26 degrees Celsius). This means it is nice enough to start doing outside activities again like hiking, picnicking, and enjoying the nice, warm outdoors. One of the greatest seasons because, after winter and false spring, it can seem like a new life has been brought back into the world.

I hope that this article eased some of the anxiety around the new environment and gave you a rough idea of what to expect in your new home. I hope your first year at Bates is as awesome and exciting as the changing of the seasons!

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About the Contributor
Hadley Blodgett
Hadley Blodgett, Assistant Arts & Leisure Editor
Hadley (she/her) is a Sophomore from Buckfield, Maine which is really close to Bates. She is a member of the Brass Ensemble and also the Jazz Band, and does music in her free time too. In her free time volunteers with the Auburn Community Concert Band providing free community concerts through the summer and winter. Besides a minor interest in music she also enjoys being outside and exploring parts of Maine she hasn’t been to before. Her favorite hike is currently Eyebrow Loop Trail. In her free time she writes, works, and also dabbles in photography.

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