January 20, 2018
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Below zero wind chill will keep Maine frozen all weekend

By Callie Ferguson
Updated:
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
A man makes his way up High Street in Portland on Thursday amid the falling snow. Temperatures will drop again this weekend across the state.

Icy wind gusts will make portions of Maine feel as cold as 20 and 30 degrees below zero this weekend, as the state falls back into a cold spell.

On average, temperatures statewide aren’t expected to rise into the double digits until Monday, after which they will coast in the teens and 20’s until Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Saturday weather conditions prompted the NWS to post wind chill warnings and advisories.

By Thursday, however, the thermometer could read in the 40’s — relatively balmy to most Mainers, who for weeks have endured a record-setting freeze that has chilled the state since before Christmas, and gave Bangor it’s coldest week in 40 years.

“We accept that 15 is warm now,” joked Michael Cempa, a forecaster with the NWS in Gray.

Temperatures on Thursday rose slightly for the first time — into the high-20’s — when a gusty, Thursday blizzard dropped over a foot of snow.

But they plummeted back toward the zero mark Friday afternoon, accompanied by harsh winds that intensified the cold descent.

This weekend, everywhere is predicted to feel chillier than what the thermometer says, as sustained gusts in the 10 to 15 mph range make the air feel closer to 10 or 20 below zero, according to Joseph Hewitt, a lead forecaster with the NWS office in Caribou.

In response, the NWS posted a wind chill warning for the northwestern part of the state, and a less severe wind chill advisory for the eastern half and coastline.

Warnings are issued when air temperatures could feel 34 degrees below and colder, Hewitt said. Advisories are posted for the range between 20 below and 34 below.

The posting is in effect until 7 a.m. Sunday, when temperatures are expected to rise marginally and winds should die down slightly, Hewitt and Cempa said.

In Greater Bangor on Saturday, the high temperature was 2, but felt closer to 15 below, Hewitt said. The overnight low is predicted at 15 below.

North of Bangor, temperatures were slightly colder, falling just below zero along the Millinocket-Houlton line around midday, according to Hewitt.

In the southern counties and along the midcoast, the average midday temperatures hovered at the zero mark, Cempa said.

Inland, it was colder, he said. In the Lewiston-Auburn and Augusta areas, temperatures fluctuated between 5 and 10 below zero.

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