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A winter storm moved into Maine overnight into Thursday morning, bringing with it snow and wind as many Mainers prepared to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.
A winter storm warning in Piscataquis, central and northern Penobscot, southern Aroostook and Washington counties and a winter weather advisory in interior Hancock and southern Penobscot counties as well as the western mountains were lifted by noon Thursday as the snow wound down and high winds took its place.
The storm brought rain into Greater Bangor on Wednesday evening before changing into snow overnight. The Bangor area was expected to see up to 3 inches of fresh snow, according to the weather service’s Caribou office.
Snow has been moderate to heavy across central areas. Roads including I-95 north to Bangor will be slippery and snow covered early this morning. Snow will taper off later this morning. Blustery today and Friday. Turning much colder on Friday. #mewx pic.twitter.com/1Ya8PO1nY3
— NWS Caribou (@NWSCaribou) November 28, 2019
Heaviest accumulation was concentrated in a band across Piscataquis, central Penobscot, southern Aroostook and northern Washington counties, where up to 11 inches was expected in Greenville, 9 inches in Millinocket, 8 inches in Lincoln and 6 inches in Houlton, according to the weather service.
Further to the north, the snowfall tapered, with accumulation maxing out under 2 inches from Presque Isle to the Saint John Valley along the Canadian border, the weather service reports.
Likewise, the immediate coast was spared the brunt of the storm, with less than an inch of snow forecast from Bar Harbor to Eastport, according to the weather service.
The storm came as Northeast was expected to see the heaviest travel volume for the Thanksgiving holiday since 2005. The weather service warned that anyone planning to travel should expect snow-covered roads and at times limited visibility.
“Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions will impact holiday travel,” a weather service advisory read.
The storm was cited as the cause for a number of crashes late Wednesday into Thursday morning, with several reported in Franklin County, including a rollover in New Sharon, according to Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols.
As of 2:50 p.m., Emera Maine reported about 3,897 outages across its service area, with the bulk of them concentrated in Penobscot County. Central Maine Power reported about 13,521 customers without power, with the heaviest outages in Franklin (3,147), Penobscot (1.467), Piscataquis (2,322) and Somerset (4,971) counties. Outages peaked mid-morning Thursday at more than 25,000.
Gusty winds are expected Thanksgiving Day through Friday and may lead to blowing snow. The map below shows the maximum of all forecast gusts at the top of each hour. Actual peak gusts in between hours will be greater. #mewx pic.twitter.com/30FOLwToMV
— NWS Caribou (@NWSCaribou) November 27, 2019
That fresh snow will be followed with high winds that could further limit visibility at times. Gusts are expected to reach up to 35 mph across much of the state Thursday into Friday, the weather service reports.
Heaviest winds will blow along the coast, where gusts could reach up to 39 mph in Bar Harbor, 40 mph in Machias and 48 mph in Eastport, according to the weather service office in Caribou.
Meanwhile, Greater Bangor can expect gusts as high as 36 mph, and gusts could blow up to 31 mph down in Portland.
Despite the lingering winds, Friday will see sunny skies and temperatures in the low 20s to the mid-30s from north to south, according to the weather service.