The first snowfall of the season was expected to leave a blanket of light snow throughout Maine as a storm described by forecasters as a nor'easter blew into the region Wednesday night.
Forecasters said there was a 90 percent chance of snow into Thursday morning, making the morning commute somewhat treacherous.
But unlike Superstorm Sandy, which knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses last week, this storm shouldn't pack such a powerful punch, said Mike Kistner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Gray.
Portland will probably get 1 to 2 inches of snow, with other areas possibly getting as much as 2 to 4 inches. Most of the snow could be gone by the weekend, with warmer temperatures expected on Friday.
"Just about everyone in the southern and western Maine areas should see some accumulation of snow," Kistner said. "But it doesn't look like it is going to be a significant snowfall by any means."
Kistner said Portland could also get some rain Thursday morning, and with temperatures around the freezing mark, roads could be slick during the morning commute.
The threat of a wintry mix prompted the Maine Emergency Management Agency to post a warning on its website Wednesday.
"While snowfall is not expected to be heavy, the mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain will lead to very slippery roads," the agency said. "With the first wintry mess of the season, be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibility."
As the nor'easter approached, signs of winter started to appear.
The Sunday River ski resort in Newry opened Tuesday after making snow. According to its website, three trails were open Wednesday.
Maine's mountains and foothills could end up with 4 inches of snow from the nor'easter.
The Farmers' Almanac, based in Lewiston, is predicting a colder-than-normal winter in areas east of the Rocky Mountains, with many locations experiencing above-normal precipitation.
Maine and other Northeast states will be cold and snowy, the almanac predicts.
The first day of winter is Dec. 21.
Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: