A large portion of Maine could get more than 6 inches of snow from a winter storm expected to move into the state on Wednesday afternoon and last through the evening hours.

Forecasters for the National Weather Service in Gray issued a winter storm watch on Monday cautioning people who have holiday travel plans for Wednesday to expect “significant accumulations of 6 inches or more. … Driving will become treacherous and (the storm) will occur during one of the busiest travel days of the year.”

The good news, according to meteorologist Eric Schwibs, is that the storm will move out of the state quickly.

“It’s a quick hitter,” Schwibs said. “By the wee hours of Thursday morning, the storm will be long gone.”

Schwibs said it is too early to predict exact snowfall amounts, but he estimated 5 to 8 inches will fall along the coast while inland areas could get as much as 10 inches.

The Associated Press quoted an official for the American Automobile Association who estimated that more than 41.3 million travelers were expected on the nation’s highways for the holiday weekend. That is a 4.3 percent increase over last year.