A man rides a bike through the pouring rain in Portland in September 2015. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

A “solid inch” of rain will hit Maine on Tuesday and it could begin to relieve the state’s drought, according to the National Weather Service.

A low-pressure system over the Great Lakes will move into New England and pull into it remnants of a tropical storm from off the mid-Atlantic coast, producing steady rain starting at about 8 a.m. in western Maine, in Bangor by mid-afternoon and Down East by nightfall, said Derek Schroeter, a meteorologist with the weather service office in Gray.

The showers, which could leave more than an inch of rain in some areas, should end by sunrise on Wednesday, Schroeter said.

There’s “a medium chance” that enough rain will fall to bump the state’s drought conditions down a notch – from extreme to severe, severe to moderate, and so on, as measured by the U.S. Drought Monitor, Schroeter said.

“The drought will persist after this but this storm will improve conditions,” Schroeter said.

Maine hasn’t had a drought this bad in 18 years. Aroostook County was declared a disaster area in September. Farmers statewide have struggled to manage their crops, and the dry conditions have led to 900 wildfires in Maine this summer.

Another storm expected on Friday could further relieve conditions. Mainers haven’t seen a storm as heavy as is expected Tuesday in many weeks, Schroeter said.

“We primarily have just been having scattered showers,” he said.