BANGOR, Maine — After more than a week of relatively calm weather, Mainers are bracing for a winter storm that is forecast to bring a mix of snow — as much as a foot in the Houlton and Millinocket areas — as well as sleet and freezing rain along the coast.
A mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected to begin over southern New Hampshire and western Maine early this morning and switch over to heavy snowfall as it works its way northward by midday, according to the National Weather Service offices in Caribou and Gray.
The storm is expected to leave the state through northern Maine on Thursday night, at which time it will move into the Canadian Maritimes, the NWS predicted.
The storm is the second major one so far this winter, with the first occurring Christmas week.
“Other than that, we’ve just been nickeled and dimed,” meteorologist Todd Lericos of the NWS office in Caribou said Tuesday evening.
As of late Tuesday, NWS forecasters were calling for snow accumulations ranging from 2 to 5 inches near the coast; 7 to 10 inches in central Penobscot County, southern Piscataquis and northern Washington counties; up to 10 inches in the western mountains; and 9 to 12 inches in parts of southern Aroostook, northern Piscataquis and northern Penobscot counties.
With the exception of the coast, which will see mixed precipitation, snowfall is expected to be heavy, covering roads and reducing visibility, the NWS said. No significant blowing or drifting is anticipated as winds are expected to remain light during the storm.
Lericos defined the impending storm as a nor’easter but noted that with this particular storm system, the sleet and freezing rain are not expected to penetrate as far inland as usual.
“We’ll probably see a changeover [from mixed precipitation to snow] right over the immediate coast, from Ellsworth to Calais,” he said. As the storm moves over Bangor, Dover-Foxcroft, Lincoln and Millinocket it will change from snow and ice pellets to solid snow, he said. “It looks like Millinocket will be right on the edge.”
As far as snow accumulations, Greenville, Baxter State Park, Patten and Houlton are expected to receive the highest amounts, with totals expected to reach a foot.
“It’s going to linger a little bit, quite frankly, into Thursday evening,” Lericos said, adding that snowfall will lighten to 8 to 10 inches by the time the storm hits Caribou.
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