The coldest temperatures so far this winter are expected to follow a storm that dumped as much as 8 inches of snow on southern Maine on Friday.

The temperature is expected to drop through the day today, and hit 10 below zero in the Portland area by Sunday – and 20 below zero in some of Maine’s northern valleys.

“We have an arctic air mass coming down,” said Mike Kistner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray. “It’s probably the coldest air we’ve seen here in a couple years … You have to be careful in that weather.”

Friday’s snowstorm brought 5 to 8 more inches to southern Maine, pushing the total to 39.4 inches for this winter in Portland. That’s well above the average of 31.2 inches at this time of year, and last year’s total snowfall of 33.8 inches.

Farther north, Houlton and Deer Isle had 13 inches of snow by Friday night, while Bangor had about a foot. About 7.3 inches had fallen around the Camden area.

The light and fluffy snow sent cars sliding off roads. Three tractor-trailers jackknifed on the Maine Turnpike – one in Kennebunk and two in Gray – snarling traffic.

The storm led schools, organizations and some municipal offices to close. State government offices shut down at 3 p.m. Communities including Portland declared on-street parking bans.

The snow tapered off by midafternoon around Portland as the storm moved off to the northeast. Snowfall was heaviest along the coast. The largest amount of snow in southern Maine fell in Kennebunk, which got 8 inches. South Berwick got 7.5 inches, Kittery got 7.3 inches, and Biddeford and Portland each received 7 inches.

The storm was a nor’easter, meaning that precipitation bands came in from the northeast, but it wasn’t the classic type, which begins around Cape Hatteras, N.C., said Kistner. Instead, Friday’s storm developed around the mid-Atlantic before moving up the coast, he said.

Portland’s preparations for the storm began Thursday night as crews put salt and sand on the roads, focusing on hills and major intersections.

“It was pretty intense in the early morning,” said Michael Bobinsky, the city’s public services director. “It leveled off, it picked up.”

The light snow was plowed easily, but crews raced to beat falling temperatures that would cause it to freeze. Also, city streets are narrowing as the snowbanks grow, Bobinsky said.

A citywide parking ban took effect from 10 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. today.

The Portland International Jetport remained open during the storm. A handful of flights were canceled and a few were delayed, said Greg Hughes, an airport spokesman.

“Not too bad. The plows are doing their typical great job,” he said. 

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at: [email protected] 

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: [email protected]