BANGOR, Maine — The clash between a warm tropical air mass entrenched over the state and the slow-moving cold front expected to arrive Monday afternoon or evening will create storms packing high winds, heavy showers and lightning that could last much of the night, forecasters said.
“There is going to be thunderstorms,” Donny Dumont, the warning-coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Caribou, said Monday morning. “There is a potential for some severely damaging wind gusts, too.”
The National Weather Service offices in Caribou and Gray have issued a flash flood watch for all but coastal Maine. The watch is expected to last until Tuesday morning.
As much as an inch or 2 of rain an hour could fall on parts of the state and cause flash floods.
“Anytime you have a hilly or mountainous area or dirt roads, they are more prone to flash flooding,” Dumont said. “Urban areas, where there is not enough drainage, are always susceptible.”
City streets often flood from clogged storm drains, he said.
Rapid rises in water levels in small streams and creeks are commonplace with heavy rains, the meteorologist said. He urged motorists to avoid driving through water because of unknowns under the water, including washouts.
“It looks like inland, in the central highlands, Aroostook will be under the gun by the afternoon,” Dumont said of the forecasted rain. “The Penobscot River and Bangor will be hit in the evening.
“We do expect some storms throughout the night,” the meteorologist said. “It’s a slow-moving system so it could be multiple rounds of rain and thunderstorms throughout the evening.”