August 21, 2018
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Third nor’easter in 2 weeks to dump at least a foot of snow across Maine

Daryn Slover | Sun Journal | AP
Daryn Slover | Sun Journal | AP
Amber Cox shovels the porch roof at her home in Auburn, Maine, Thursday, March 8, 2018. The second major storm in less than a week is moving up the East Coast, dumping heavy snow and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses from Pennsylvania to New England. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal via AP)
By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff
Updated:

Five days after the latest nor’easter dumped roughly a foot of snow on most of Maine, another winter storm is expected to deliver an even bigger dumping Tuesday and Wednesday.

The National Weather Service has issued a storm warning for all of Maine as another nor’easter approaches from the mid-Atlantic coast. The storm is expected to arrive in southern Maine around 2 a.m. Tuesday and to exit the state’s far northeast corner in the wee hours of Thursday morning.

Areas in and around Bangor, Lincoln, Millinocket and Greenville could get 18 to 24 inches of snow between Tuesday morning and early Thursday, the weather service indicated Monday afternoon. Approximately 12 to 18 inches is predicted for the rest of the state with the exception of Maine’s far northeast corner, which is predicted to get between 8 and 12 inches.

Mount Katahdin could get around 30 inches of snow, the weather service warned. No blizzard warnings have been issued for Maine, but a gale warning has been issued for coastal waters and wind gusts on land could reduce visibility, according to the weather service.

“Travel will be very difficult to impossible, including during the evening commute on Tuesday,” forecasters wrote, adding that gusting winds will limit visibility with drifting and blowing snow. “Snow is expected to linger in the mountains and foothills into Wednesday. A significant snowfall is expected for the entire area, but variations in the storm track are still possible.”

The most snow Bangor has gotten over the course of one day so far this winter is 18.3 inches on Jan. 4. Portland’s biggest snowfall to date this winter was on the same day, when it got just shy of a foot.

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for Monday night and Tuesday for parts of eastern Massachusetts, where winds could gust as high as 65 mph.

Victor Nouhan, an weather service meteorologist in Caribou, said strong winds are less of a concern in Maine, though some gale-force gusts might be felt along the immediate coast. If the storm tracks farther south out to sea, lower snowfall amounts and wind speeds would result, he added. If it blows closer to land, higher amounts of snowfall and wind speeds would be expected.

As with last week’s storm, the biggest factor Tuesday will be the precipitation, according to Nouhan.

“There will be a lot of snow, that’s for sure,” he said.

The approaching storm will be the third nor’easter to strike the Northeast in roughly the past 10 days.

A March 2 storm battered the New England coast with high tides and heavy winds. An estimated 2 million electricity customers through the region lost power in that storm, including a few thousand in Maine. The storm caused significant coastal flooding and was blamed for the deaths of nine people outside the state.

[Nor’easter uncovers skeleton of sunken Revolutionary War-era ship on Maine beach]

Last Thursday, another storm left about a foot of heavy snow throughout much of the state and knocked out power to around 27,000 Mainers, mostly in York County.

Gail Rice, spokeswoman for Central Maine Power, said Monday that all of the company’s outages on March 8 were restored by late the next day or the following morning.

“We are prepping for the [storm] that is coming in,” she said, by making contingency plans with emergency management officials and lining up work crews that can respond in the event of outages or other issues.

Even before this week’s storm, Bangor has surpassed the amount of snow it got last winter, according to National Weather Service data posted online. Bangor got 82.6 inches of snow from November 2016 through April 2017, but so far this winter has gotten 87 inches.

The Portland International Jetport has had 75.5 inches of snow, far above the normal for the date of 51.8 inches, with another 12 to 18 inches on the way, said James Brown of the National Weather Service. Portland needs about another foot to match its snowfall total last winter of 87.4 inches.

According to Nouhan, Bangor’s snowiest winter on record was in 1962-63, when it got 181 inches.

“We’re not even close to that,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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