Drawn-out snowstorm could dump 15 inches, but most will see 5 to 10

Sonya Eldridge, owner of Bagel Central in Bangor, washes the windows of her business Tuesday afternoon. &quotI have not had a chance to do this since October. It is such a nice day to do it," Eldridge said while working in what felt like T-shirt weather. According to the National Weather Service, the weather is expected to change and a significant winter storm is going to hit the state by Wednesday evening.
Sonya Eldridge, owner of Bagel Central in Bangor, washes the windows of her business Tuesday afternoon. "I have not had a chance to do this since October. It is such a nice day to do it," Eldridge said while working in what felt like T-shirt weather. According to the National Weather Service, the weather is expected to change and a significant winter storm is going to hit the state by Wednesday evening. Buy Photo
Posted Feb. 26, 2013, at 10:08 a.m.
Last modified Feb. 26, 2013, at 9:44 p.m.

CARIBOU, Maine — Another winter storm is expected to hit the state Wednesday and last into Thursday, according to forecasters.

The National Weather Service in Gray is expecting the storm to hit the southern part of the state early Wednesday and track northward throughout the day.

“This isn’t probably going to be a high-impact event because a lot of the dynamics it had coming out of the plains won’t be the same once it reaches northern New England,” said Vic Nouhan, lead forecaster for the National Weather Service in Caribou.

Very few Maine towns will get the full brunt of this storm, which is forecast to create a maximum accumulation of 15 inches in Maine.

“The maximum concentration would be on the northern New Hampshire border,” said Nouhan. “And it looks like ‘ground zero’ could be North Conway, Berlin and Fryeburg.”

Accumulation totals should drop as the storm travels northward.

“The system is weakening so the amounts kind of trail off to the east and northeast,” said Nouhan. “There could be 24 to 36 hours more of very light to intermittent snowfall, so there may be more persistent snow, but it will be over a 48-hour period.”

That means plows should be able to more than stay ahead of the accumulation.

“At least through Thursday, we’re forecasting up to 7 or 8 inches in parts of the southern and central Piscataquis areas,” Nouhan said. “Up here [in Aroostook County], by Saturday morning we’re likely to see 5 to 8 inches in Caribou.”

Both the Bangor and Bar Harbor areas should see totals of 3-6 inches tops, although a possible “mixing effect” of sleet, freezing rain and rain could decrease Bangor’s total accumulation to 2-4 inches.

“Along the southern Maine coast around Portland, they should see about 6 to 10 inches, and some mixing could keep those amounts lower,” Nouhan said. “That should start Wednesday morning and extend into the rest of western Maine by the afternoon right up into our [Bangor’s] doorstep.”

Storm effects may start petering out by Thursday afternoon with some intermittent, light snows that could continue into Friday.

Other than snow, there may be some elevated winds, but nothing dangerous.

“I would say the strongest wind effects could be 25-30 miles per hour gusts,” he said.

The storm’s dynamics are stronger going into western Maine.

“I would think along the New Hampshire border and parts of central New Hampshire to the White Mountains, there’s potential of up to 15 inches, but generally speaking, it should be around 10 to 15 with most of that occurring in a 24-hour period.”

“Most of the snow will be from Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning,” forecaster Margaret Curtis said Tuesday.

Curtis said the Lewiston area and points south and northwest can expect to see between 10 and 14 inches of snow.

This storm comes in the wake of a nor’easter that dumped 10-14 inches around the state over the weekend.

Officials from the Maine Emergency Management Agency are advising homeowners who still have snow on their roofs to shovel it off prior to the arrival of Wednesday’s storm.

“The accumulation of snow adds a lot of weight that your roof may not be able to withstand,” MEMA director Rob McAleer said. “It’s a very good idea to get out the roof rake and clear off as much snow as you can before the next storm.”

Wet or compacted snow can weigh as much as 20 pounds per cubic foot.

BDN writer Ryan McLaughlin also contributed to this report.

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