UPDATE: Blizzard warning issued for Maine coast
GRAY (March 14, 3:30 p.m.) — Now that Stella has arrived and is bearing down in earnest, the National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for the entire coast of Maine, to include some inland areas as far. Periods of heavy snow will continue through Tuesday evening, with snowfall rates of 2-3 inches per hour expected at times.
Winds will gust to 30 to 40 mph, with gusts to 50 mph likely along the coast, resulting in blizzard conditions through Tuesday night.
According to Knox County Emergency Management Director Ray Sisk, the heaviest snow was due to hit the Knox County area before 3:30 p.m., and it has from a look outside the window, and the snow will continue to come in bands.
“Highest winds are expected between 6 and 10 p.m. tonight,” said Sisk. “We have seen wind gusts to 35 mph here at the Knox County EOC in Rockland.”
Sisk also said that the Midcoast will see some mixing of the precipitation along the immediate coast, with some rain and/or sleet possible at times.
Sisk’s safety messages: “Get to where you are going and stay there! Roads are going to get worse and travel will become dangerous later this afternoon and into the evening. Travel during these dangerous conditions puts you and others at great risk. It makes plowing difficult for our snow fighters and endangers first responders who might have to come rescue you (or are en route to rescue others)! Winds and falling tree branches may bring down utility lines and cause power outages. Never touch a downed utility line!”
The NWS blizzard warning, which has replaced the winter storm warning, remains in effect at this point until 8 a.m. tomorrow, March 15.
Snow accumulation amounts remain at 12 to 16 inches, with some mixing of sleet and rain possible. The heaviest snow and most significant impacts are expected Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night. Snow will switch to sleet and rain later Tuesday night, and then end Wednesday morning.
GRAY (March 13, 2:30 p.m.) — The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning now for much of the state, with the biggest impact of snow and wind expected along the Midcoast.
Dubbed “Stella,” this winter nor’easter is now forecast to bring between 14 and 18 inches of snow, with the heaviest snow and most significant travel impacts expected Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night, March 14.
The winter storm warning remains in effect from 9 a.m. Tuesday to 8 a.m. Wednesday. Snow is expected to taper off Wednesday morning.
The NWS, in its Monday weather update, said that heavy snow Tuesday and Tuesday night, combined with gusty winds and blowing snow, will create near-blizzard conditions at times and lead to dangerous travel conditions.
“A strong low pressure system will track up the Eastern Seaboard and spread heavy snow into Maine and New Hampshire Tuesday into early Wednesday. Snow will begin Tuesday morning in southern New Hampshire and spread northwards into western Maine by noon. Snow will become heavy Tuesday afternoon with snowfall rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour possible, and near blizzard conditions along the coast. The storm will come to an end overnight into early Wednesday morning,” said NWS officials.
GRAY — A winter storm watch remains in effect from 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, March 14 through late in the afternoon March, 15 for all but far northern Maine. Forecasters are seeing a potential for heavy snow spreading into Maine and New Hampshire Tuesday into Wednesday, as a strong low pressure system tracks up the Northeast coast into Maine and New Hampshire.
According to the National Weather Service Sunday afternoon, “confidence is increasing” that this storm will track between the 40N/70W benchmark (Long Island) and Cape Cod, which also increases the confidence that more of the forecast area will see more than 6 inches of snow.
“The threat for widespread double-digit snowfall continues...and for that reason winter storm watches remain in effect until there is a high confidence in forecast snow totals. Near the coast, northeast winds will be gusty...and near-blizzard conditions are possible for a time Tuesday evening,” said NWS officials late Sunday afternoon.
The winter storm watch remains in effect from 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14, through late in the afternoon March 15.
In a weather statement Sunday morning the NWS said: "There is still a good amount of uncertainty on the track of the storm, which could cause large changes in snowfall forecasts, but at this time there is the potential for several inches of snow across the entire region."
The NWS is reporting accumulations greater than 6 inches of snow possible, beginning early in the afternoon Tuesday. The heaviest snow and most significant impacts are expected Tuesday night, with snow tapering off Wednesday.
Television weather meteorologist Sarah Long, among others, are saying as much 12-18 inches of snow could accumulate from Portland to the south and inland to Augusta and Jackman, along the Midcoast and Down East and up north to Millinocket.
The six-day forecaster follows:
Sunday – Sunny, with a high near 17 degrees Fahrenheit. Wind chill values as low as minus 8. West wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.
Sunday night – Partly cloudy, with a low around 9 F. Wind chill values as low as minus 6. Blustery, with a northwest wind 15 to 20 mph.
Monday – Sunny, with a high near 24 F. Wind chill values as low as minus 6. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph.
Monday night – Mostly cloudy, with a low around 16 F. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming northeast after midnight.
Tuesday – Snow, mainly after 9 a.m. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 31 F. Blustery, with a northeast wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 20 to 25 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.
Tuesday night – Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 26 F. Windy. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent.
Wednesday – Snow before 8 a.m., then snow showers likely after 8 a.m. High near 34 F. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent.
Wednesday night – A 30 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21 F.
Thursday – Partly sunny, with a high near 31 F.
Thursday night – Partly cloudy, with a low around 16 F.
Friday – Mostly sunny, with a high near 31 F.