CARIBOU

It looks like deja vu all over again for most of Maine today as a snowstorm very similar to what ended Saturday looks to sock the state with as much as 14 inches, a weather forecaster said Sunday.

A weather front moving up the coast will deliver dry snow, high-gusting winds and accumulations starting in the Down East midmorning and hitting farther north as the day continues, said Mark Bloomer, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Caribou.

That will make the 5 p.m. commute especially hazardous in the Down East and Portland areas, Bloomer said.

“People should probably try to plan to stay at home Monday,” Bloomer said Sunday.

“Monday morning … it will probably be OK across all the area, but the storm will move in pretty hard and heavy during the midmorning.”

Portland and other coastal southern areas of the state are also expected to get as much as 14 inches of snow, with lesser accumulations occurring in Freyburg and inland, said James Brown, a meteorologist with the weather service office in Gray.

“Certainly when we get into the morning commute, it will be snowing pretty good. You might have only an inch on the ground, but it will be coming down pretty hard,” Brown said.

From Down East to Maine’s western line will be the hardest hit, with accumulations estimated at 10 to 14 inches. The storm track visible on Sunday indicated that northern Maine’s snowfall will gradually diminish to 7 to 9 inches in the Houlton area and 5 to 6 inches in Caribou, Bloomer said.

Normally an area Mother Nature doesn’t spare in winter, the St. John Valley looks to get the least snow, a 2- to 3- inch dusting, Bloomer said.

The storm will likely start tapering off across the Down East around midnight today, with snowfall in northern Maine ceasing by about 8 a.m. Tuesday, Bloomer said.

Winds should top out at about 25 mph through most of the storm, leaving heavy drifts of snow, Bloomer said.

“The cold air will make it much easier for snow to blow and drift,” Bloomer said.

Six more weeks!

THE HANDLERS OF Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, say the furry rodent has forecast six more weeks of winter.

Members of the top hat-wearing Inner Circle announced the “forecast” just before 7:30 a.m. today.

A German legend has it that if a furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last another six weeks. If not, spring comes early. FOR MORE, see the Bangor Daily News at www.bangordailynews.com



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