Mainers battled bitter cold and dangerous wind chills Monday to start school vacation week, and the National Weather Service says it’s going to stay cold all week.

The coldest spot in Maine overnight was Jackman, which recorded minus 14 degrees. In southern Maine, Sanford won the cold-weather prize at negative 6 degrees. Portland bottomed out at minus 3. All lows were recorded in the early-morning hours Monday before or just after sunrise.

With sustained winds, a wind chill advisory remained in effect for northern Maine and far Down East through midnight Monday, NWS meteorologists said. A wind chill advisory for much of the rest of the state was lifted at noon, but a gale warning offshore remained in effect through midnight.

Tuesday should be clear with some chance of snow showers in the southern part of the state, meteorologist Michael Cempa said.

“We’ll start off with some sun then see clouds move in during the day,” he said. “But it’s going to stay cold through the week,”

High winds forced Saddleback Maine to close its ski lifts late Monday morning, and Sugarloaf USA limited lift operations to the lower part of the mountain. Saddleback evacuated three skiers from a chair lift during heavy winds late Monday morning. The skiers were not harmed and the evacuation went smoothly, said Saddleback general manager Chris Farmer. “That’s what we train for,” he said.

One of those skiers, Andrew Russell of Kennebunk, posted on Facebook about the incident. He and a daughter were on the Rangeley lift when it was shut down by what Russell described on Facebook as “sudden, dangerously high winds as we neared the top of the mountain. It was scary swaying up there,” he posted.

He said the ski patrol helped his daughter to the slope, and drove her down the mountain on a snowmobile.

Overnight wind chills bottomed out at minus 39 in Greenville at the base of Moosehead Lake and minus 39 in Newry in Oxford County. Mount Washington, the tallest peak in New England, recorded a wind chill reading of minus 67 at about 8 a.m., meteorologist Nikki Becker said.

Even for the hardiest Mainer, that’s a cold start to a week when many families are planning ski trips and other outdoor winter activities.

The sun warmed up things Monday, with Portland hitting a high of 21 degrees at 3 p.m., with highs topping out in the high teens along the coast and the single digits in the mountains.

But it’s going to be a cold week. The warmest day will be Wednesday, with temperatures rising to the upper 20s near the coast and the upper teens inland.

“I look forward to Wednesday,” Becker said. “That’s when I will take my kids sledding.”

There’s a chance of snow both Tuesday and Wednesday, but without significant accumulation.

By Monday morning, the weekend storm had ended. While Portland and much of the midcoast were spared significant snowfall, residents in York County and Down East were digging out. Up to 2 feet of snow fell in York and Washington counties, as the storm split in two.

Portland used the relatively light snowfall as a chance to continue clearing narrowed streets, improve sight lines at intersections and clear sidewalks, said Mike Bobinsky, Portland’s director of public services.

“Our citizens have been through a lot over the last three weeks,” he said Monday night. “We really appreciate (them) because we know that it has been inconvenient.”

He said the city focused Monday on removing snow from parking spots in the Old Port and downtown areas, and various off-peninsula neighborhoods.

“We’re still, in many ways, cleaning up from those storms three weeks ago,” he said. The plowing and scattered parking bans on specific snow-choked residential streets will continue for the next several days, and possibly into next week, he added.

In Portland, Casco Bay Lines reported no major problems Monday with the wind or ice in Portland Harbor. Operations manager Nathan Contant said the wind forced the ferry service to limit freight, but otherwise the ferries were on schedule.

“It’s always a little more interesting with the ice and things, but (the ferry operators) are quite professional. It’s run-of-the-mill stuff for them,” he said.

In addition to forcing Sugarloaf USA to shut some lifts on the upper mountain, Monday’s high winds prompted the resort to postpone the evening fireworks show to Tuesday night.


“Today is not ideal, but people are bundling up and making the best of it,” Sugarloaf marketing director Ethan Austin said. “We always say, skiers are skiers and snowboarders are snowboarders. Nothing is going to keep it from them, especially when the snow is good. Our hopes are high for the week. The snow is great, and we might get a little more fresh snow by midweek, maybe another three or four inches. So we are optimistic.”

Farmer said Saddleback would open on Tuesday. “The rest of the week looks great,” he said.

About half the lifts were open Monday afternoon at Sunday River in Newry and Mt. Abram was closed.

The Class B and C high school state championship slalom races at Bigrock Mountain were postponed until Tuesday. Winds at the Mars Hill location were recorded at 25 mph.

Staff Writer Noel Gallagher contributed to this report.