A major winter storm will bring rain, snow, sleet and ice into the entire state overnight Saturday and much of the day Sunday after record high temperatures were set Saturday afternoon in Portland and Bangor, according to the National Weather Service.
The temperature in Maine’s largest city hit 63 degrees as the sun was setting, breaking the old record 54 set in 2017 by 9 degrees. In Bangor, the temperature hit 55 degrees, three degrees above the record high of 52 set in 1983.
The thermometer will plunge as snow blankets northern Aroostook County and sleet, followed by ice, fall north of Augusta into central Maine and along the coast.
A warm front, followed by a cold front that causes temperatures to fall rapidly is not unusual in January, according to forecaster Hunter Cubbs with the weather service in Gray.
“This warm weather is unusual,” he said. “These temperatures are similar to what we get in April.”
As of 9 a.m. Saturday, churches had begun announcing the cancellation of services on Sunday morning.
An ice storm warning is in effect from 2 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday for southern Penobscot, interior Hancock, central Washington and coastal Washington counties.
Heavy mixed precipitation is expected in central and southern Piscataquis, central Penobscot, and northern Washington counties. Accumulations of 1 to 3 inches of snow is predicted with sleet accumulations of 2 inches expected.
The storm warning for these areas takes effect at 9 p.m. Saturday and ends at 7 p.m. Sunday.
Up to a foot of snow could blanket Aroostook County with an inch of sleep expected south of Clayton Lake to Presque Isle. The storm warning for The County runs from 7 p.m. Saturday until 7 p.m. Sunday.
In southern and western Maine, mostly rain is expected. Sleet instead of snow is predicted to hit the mountain regions.
On Friday, the Maine Department of Transportation told WGME that it is prepared for the storm and expected to be out by midnight Sunday. Drivers could use up to 100 tons of salt in this storm.
Emera Maine and Central Maine Power, the state’s two major electricity providers both said they are prepared for the storm and its aftermath.