Snow, sleet, freezing rain expected to ice over parts of Maine this weekend

Posted Dec. 19, 2013, at 9:38 a.m.
Last modified Dec. 20, 2013, at 8:56 a.m.

CARIBOU, Maine — Snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain are expected to hit Maine over the next couple of days and icy conditions are expected in much of the state starting on Friday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

Two batches of precipitation are bearing down on the state. The first, mostly snow changing to freezing rain, is expected to spread across parts of Maine during the day on Friday.

“It looks like it’s going to start out with light snow in the morning and pick up throughout the day,” Rich Norton, meteorologist for the weather service in Caribou, said Thursday evening. “By late morning, the upper atmosphere is going to warm up enough to create sleet and freezing rain after lunch that will last until the sun goes down.”

The first storm has put the state under a winter weather advisory, in effect from 7 a.m Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday, he said.

Northern Maine, from Millinocket north, could see 3 to 5 inches, with Bangor and coastal Maine seeing between 1 and 3 inches during the first storm, Norton said.

“It looks like northern Maine will remain mostly snow but there could be some sleet,” the meteorologist said.

The second batch of precipitation, likely to be in the form of sleet, freezing rain and rain, will spread from south to north beginning early Saturday.

“The next storm is going to start Saturday morning and go through the night Sunday, and pull out Sunday night into Monday morning,” Norton said. “There will definitely be freezing rain in the Bangor area Saturday night and into Sunday.”

Ice is predicted to cover the entire coast and travel deep inland past Bangor to the Moosehead Lake region by Saturday afternoon, he said.

Both Caribou and Bangor have above-average snowfalls and temperatures for this time of year, the weather service website states.

“It has been the coldest start of the month of December since 2007,” the site states.

Caribou has seen 21.7 inches of snow, which is 9.1 inches above normal, and Bangor has received 13.6 inches, which is 6.1 inches above normal. The average temperature in Caribou so far this month is 14.9 degrees, 5.9 degrees below average, and for Bangor the average temp was 20.1 degrees, which is 7.1 degrees below normal, the weather service website states.

Exactly how much snow and ice areas will get Friday and the weekend is entirely dependent on what the thermostat says.

“It’s going to dependent on the temperature,” Norton said.

Aroostook County could see 8 to 12 inches of snow during the two storms, but “farther south it will depend on the ratio — the higher amount of rain and sleet will reduce the amount of snowfall,” the meteorologist said.

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