Residents in northern Maine on Sunday saw up to a 40-degree shift in temperatures as in some parts of the state the mercury climbed above zero for the first time in three days, while a snowstorm dumped up to a foot of snow and more on some parts of the state.
Presque Isle and Caribou residents awoke to a temperature of minus 29 degrees Sunday morning, up from readings late last week in the minus 30s, but by Sunday afternoon the temperature was climbing to single digits in those areas for the first time since Thursday.
In Allagash, where the temperature hit 39 below, the pipes froze at Two River Lunch, but owner Wade Kelley was looking forward to seeing the thermometer hit single digits.
“Oh, that’s a heat wave. That’s T-shirt weather,” he joked Sunday as workers repaired a burst pipe, caused when a door blew open, letting cold air into the kitchen.
The temperature hit 38 below in Van Buren and 37 below in Fort Kent.
Snow moved into the state Sunday, and a winter storm warning was in effect for much of Maine.
The storm warning remained in effect for northern and central Maine, including the Down East coast, until 7 this morning. Total snow accumulations through Sunday night were expected to range from 10 to 18 inches across interior Down East areas to about 6 to 12 inches at the coast and 6 to 10 inches in the north, according to the NWS.
A winter storm warning was in effect on the midcoast and south until midnight Sunday, with 6 to 14 inches of total snow accumulation expected.
In Houlton on Saturday, Josh Stewart said he was glad the cold of the past week was abating, with snow expected.
“I heard that the cold is going with it, so I’m happy,” he said while shopping in downtown Houlton.
The Houlton resident said he had to “have his truck boosted three days in a row” after The County and much of the state was bombarded with below-zero temperatures for most of the week.
The cold lingered Saturday, especially in the St. John Valley, though it was warmer than it had been than in past mornings.
Allagash was the coldest spot with 39 degrees below zero. Big Black River, which recorded an unofficial temperature of minus 50 on Friday morning, was at minus 33 Saturday.
It was 23 below in Houlton, and 30 below in Caribou on Saturday.
In Hancock County, it was decidedly warmer Saturday, with a temperature of 10 degrees recorded in Acadia National Park. It was zero degrees in Bangor in Penobscot County, while it was minus 20 in Shin Pond.
In Piscataquis County, it was 28 below in Guilford, and a high of 3 below was recorded in Greenville.
In Washington County, Danforth saw a low of minus 18 while it was 9 degrees in Eastport on Saturday.
Eight to 12 inches of snow was expected in southern and central Maine and southeastern New Hampshire on Sunday and Sunday night, said Steve Capriola of the National Weather Service.
Dozens of cars slid off roads, but there were no major accidents.
A multicar accident closed part of Interstate 93 in Concord, N.H., and another crash involving about a dozen cars in Londonderry, N.H., had traffic backed up, officials said.
Capriola said that overall temperatures will moderate over the coming week, but said temperatures will remain below normal.
BDN writer Jen Lynds in Houlton and The Associated Press contributed to this report.