A winter storm will dump as much as a half foot of snow across much of the state on Thursday.
That could be just a preview for a major storm expected to hit the state Saturday night into Sunday, according to an advisory from the National Weather Service.
A hazardous weather outlook has been issued for the central highlands, coastal and interior Down East Maine, eastern Maine, northern Maine and the Penobscot Valley.
The heaviest snow from Thursday’s storm is expected to fall over southern Piscataquis and Penobscot counties, according to the weather service.
Greater Bangor is forecast to see 3 to 7 inches of fresh snow, with 3 to 5 inches expected in Greenville, Millinocket and Bar Harbor, the weather service reports.
“The morning commute in the Bangor area may be hazardous,” a weather service advisory reads.
Lesser amounts are expected in Aroostook County, where 1 to 3 inches of snow are forecast from Presque Isle north to the Canadian border, according to the weather service.
Along the southern Maine coast in Portland rain is currently expected rather than snow.
The snow will be accompanied by strong winds. Greater Bangor is expected to see sustained winds of 6 to 15 mph, with gusts up to 26 mph, according to the weather service. Higher winds are expected toward the coast, where Bar Harbor is expected to see sustained winds of 11 to 21 mph and gusts up to 32 mph, and Portland is expected to see sustained winds of 15 to 20 mph and gusts up to 40 mph, the weather service reports.
Thursday’s storm was forecast to be preceded by 1 to 3 inches in northern Maine and the mountains, and 1 to 2 inches across central and Down East Maine on Tuesday night, according to a weather service advisory. That may be followed by a major storm Saturday night into Sunday, the weather service reports.