It’s no April Fool’s joke.

Just when it seemed winter had thrown its last punch, most of southern, central and western Maine is in line to see a dump of heavy, wet snow from a spring storm that forecasters predict will move into the state Friday evening and last through part of the day Saturday, April 1.

The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook for the region starting Friday night, warning that there is the potential for “heavy snowfall. Snow may be heavy and wet, adding significant weight to trees.”

While some news outlets were calling for snowfall amounts up to 12 inches, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Gray said it is too early to predict, adding that rain could mix with the snow and reduce the accumulations.

“The potential for a nice dump of heavy, wet snow is there, but the (forecast) models are so far apart that trying to predict when, where and how much snow will fall is still up in the air,” weather service meteorologist Eric Sinsabaugh said Wednesday night, adding that “we are not in the business of selling snowflakes.”

An April snowstorm is not uncommon in Maine.

The record April snowfall in Portland was set in 1922, when 16.2 inches fell over a three-day period early in the month.

Sinsabaugh said the largest April 1 snowstorm occurred in 1993, when 10.6 inches fell in Portland. The most recent, significant April snowstorm in Portland took place April 4-5, 2007, when 11.7 inches fell over two days.

For those of us who think the weekend storm will be the last one of the season, don’t get too comfortable. Sinsabaugh said Portland got 7 inches of snow on May 10-11 in 1945.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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