The threat of tornadoes and severe weather that ravaged parts of Maine over the weekend is likely over, according to the National Weather Service.

Meteorologists predict the weather today and Tuesday will be partly sunny with a possible brief shower in the afternoon, tame conditions compared to the hail, thunderstorms and high winds that visited Maine over the weekend.

The weather service Sunday issued a tornado watch for York and Cumberland counties and southern New Hampshire until 8 p.m., but then lifted it at 6 p.m.

It was the second consecutive day of tornado alerts for the region.

“It is unusual to get back-to-back days with conditions favorable for tornadoes to occur. It’s just the way the weather systems got together. It happens on rare occasions,” said Tom Hawley, a meteorologist at the weather service in Gray.

Emergency dispatchers Sunday night said they’d received no new reports of damage.

On Saturday, however, severe weather produced golf ball-size hail, uprooted trees, and downed power lines.

The path of damage extended from South Paris, crossing Hebron Road and going to Thomas Hill Road in Norway, according to John Cannon, a senior meteorologist at the weather service.

Cannon said funnel clouds were reported at the Auburn Municipal Airport and in Litchfield in Kennebec County. “It was an intense day,” he said.

Meteorologists at the weather service said they’re not sure if Saturday’s weather produced a tornado. A team from the Gray office is expected to survey the path of damage today.

The mixed bag of unsettled weather began early Saturday, prompting the weather service to issue a severe thunderstorm warning.

It issued the first of two tornado alerts at 5:16 p.m. for central Androscoggin and eastern Oxford counties. The second came at 5:55 p.m. for southeastern Androscoggin and western Sagadahoc counties.

Cannon said the severe weather developed when a system that moved north into Oxford County merged with a storm coming out of New Hampshire.

Long-lived storms and those that move from northwest to southeast, exiting through the foothills, can be prone to producing tornadoes, he said.

“We tend to get a disproportionate amount of tornadoes in southern Oxford County,” Cannon said. “It’s the tornado alley of Maine. The Bethel region is a hot spot.”

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

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