A fast-moving storm is expected to drop up to 10 inches of snow Wednesday afternoon and evening in parts of western and central Maine, with lesser amounts in eastern, coastal and northern parts of the state, according to the National Weather Service.
Up to 12 inches of snow had been predicted for much of the state, but NWS forecasters revised their predictions downward slightly Wednesday afternoon. The snow arrived a little later than expected, too, starting in Portland around noon and in the Bangor area around 2 p.m.
Both Portland and Bangor are expected to get roughly 6 to 9 inches of snow by early Thursday morning.
The storm is expected to hit hardest during and after the evening commute Wednesday, falling at a rate of 1 or 2 inches an hour, causing poor visibility and slippery conditions on the roads, according to NWS forecasters. Some mixed precipitation along with small amounts of ice accumulation is predicted along the immediate coast.
The weather service issued a winter storm warning for most of Maine late Tuesday afternoon, in advance of the storm. A less severe winter weather advisory was issued for northwestern Aroostook County, where half a foot is expected, and for coastal Hancock and Washington counties, where forecasters predict around 3 inches of snowfall.
— NWS Caribou (@NWSCaribou) February 7, 2018
“It’s a quick-hitter,” Eric Schwibs, a meteorologist with the weather service in Gray, said Wednesday about the storm.
Many schools across the state closed Wednesday or were dismissed early in anticipation of hazardous road conditions. A swath of government buildings and community organizations also adjusted their hours or closed.
“It’s going to be dumping down at a very heavy rate, but I don’t see much as far as wind-driven snow,” said Priscilla Farrar, a forecaster in Caribou.
Forecasters encourage people to stay off the roads during the height of the snowfall. They said anyone who has to travel during such storms should keep an extra flashlight, food and water in their vehicles in case of an emergency.
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