Meteorologists increased their snowfall forecasts throughout Thursday as another significant winter storm approached Maine. The National Weather Service in Gray late in the day settled on a prediction of 8 to 10 inches for the Portland area.

Earlier Thursday, the weather service was forecasting 4 to 8 inches for the Portland area, with higher amounts to the north and east.

Unlike Tuesday’s blizzard, which most forecasters agreed would dump 2 feet of snow on the state, there was some disagreement among the dozen or so computer models the weather service used to forecast Friday’s storm.

“We’re confident enough to say that Portland will get at least 6 inches,” Mike Ekster, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in Gray, said Thursday night.

“But this is not a totally straightforward storm to forecast.”

Coastal communities like Cape Elizabeth, Saco and Wells were expected to get snow that is heavier and wetter than the light, fluffy variety that fell during Tuesday’s blizzard, Ekster said.

Augusta and parts of coastal Knox County were in line for 10 to 14 inches of snow while Bangor and the Down East region were expected to get as much as 14 to 18 inches.

Ekster said snow was expected to arrive early Friday morning, potentially affecting the morning commute. But heavy snowfalls weren’t expected until mid- to late-afternoon.

“That is when the driving could get dangerous,” Ekster said.

The snowstorm is expected to end late Friday night or early Saturday.

Tuesday’s blizzard dropped 2 feet of snow across many parts of Maine and created dangerous whiteout conditions at times. Winds were not expected to be as strong Friday, according to the weather service.

Earlier Thursday, Mike Kistner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, said that this storm’s snowfall totals were difficult to predict.

But, he said, “The real question is: Where are we going to put it?”

So far this season, Portland has gotten 49.4 inches of snow, well above the average of 32.6 inches by this point in the year, according to the National Weather Service. Last year, 44.3 inches had fallen on Portland by Jan. 29.

Portland issued a Yellow Zone parking ban for Thursday evening until 6 a.m. Friday so it could remove as much snow as possible from the downtown streets before the next storm arrived. The Yellow Zone is bounded by Commercial Street on the south, Cumberland Avenue on the north, Franklin Street on the east and State Street on the west.

Several other communities, including Lewiston, Biddeford, Scarborough, Falmouth, Gorham and Windham, have issued parking bans until noon Saturday.

The storm has prompted South Portland to postpone its Winterfest, which was scheduled this weekend, until Feb. 6-7.

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