BANGOR, Maine — Many Mainers will be shoveling snow off their steps and driveways for the second morning in a row on Thursday as the result of a quick moving burst of precipitation that began making its way up the coast on Wednesday.
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for 6 p.m. Wednesday through 5 a.m. Thursday, calling for 3-5 inches of snow in Penobscot, Hancock and Washington counties.
The rest of the state was under a hazardous weather outlook, with forecasts calling for up to a few inches of snow accumulation followed by ice.
The snow, which began falling in southern Maine early Wednesday afternoon, led to reduced speed limits on parts of Interstate 95 and the entire length of the Maine Turnpike, according to motorist alerts issued by the Maine Department of Transportation.
By about 5 p.m., parts of Cumberland County had seen as much as 3 inches of snow, the weather service said. Snow there was falling at a rate of an inch per hour. York and Sagadahoc counties also were seeing snowfall, although slightly less.
The weather service said that motorists in those counties, as well as Kennebec and Waldo counties, faced a difficult evening commute due to snow and fog.
The snow was expected to continue to fall steadily through evening, becoming heavy at times and accumulating quickly on road surfaces.
As the storm moved north, it was expected to dump as much as 5 inches of snow in Down East Maine overnight, the weather service said. Roads were expected to be snow-covered and slippery.
Aroostook, Piscataquis and Somerset counties also were expected to see some snow action, with as much as 3 inches possible through 8 p.m. The snow could result in rapidly deteriorating road condition and slick spots, forecasters warned.
The snow in that region is expected to change to sleet and freezing rain on Friday. A few inches of snow accumulation is possible, along with up to a quarter-inch of ice buildup.
The weather service said Wednesday night that the storm was moving northeast into the Maritimes and that high pressure will build in from the west on Thursday, shifting offshore by evening.
Because of the snow, Bangor has announced a downtown parking ban from 11 p.m. Wednesday through 6 a.m. Thursday as crews continue to remove snow that fell during the past few storms.
Bangor Daily News writer Nick McCrea contributed to this report.