Two boys play in a large puddle – created by melting snow and heavy rains – while visiting the Eastern Promenade in Portland on Sunday. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Portland broke not one, but two high temperature records this weekend, while the rest of the state braced for an ice storm that never materialized.

The wacky weather patterns created a stark contrast in conditions between northern and southern Maine, with parts of Aroostook County buried under record amounts of snow Sunday night. In the area between Bangor and Presque Isle, the National Weather Service office in Caribou said it received reports of between 2 and 4 inches of sleet falling on Sunday.

Southern Maine residents got off easy, as all they had to deal with was warm weather and rain on Sunday morning before skies cleared and temperatures fell.

“It just didn’t get as cold as we thought it would,” NWS meteorologist William Watson said, explaining why the ice storm dissipated. “We weren’t expecting much ice south of Lewiston, but up north it did not turn out to be as bad as we thought it would be. The warm air was already in place and it didn’t go away.”

Portland set a new high-temperature record on Saturday of 63 degrees, breaking the 2017 record of 54 degrees for the date. And then on Sunday morning, the temperature in Portland struck 52 degrees at 6:24 a.m., breaking the previous record of 51 degrees in 2014.

As the day wore on Sunday, temperatures dropped into the upper 30s, and on Monday the temperatures will hang around the freezing mark in Portland, Watson said.


Meanwhile, in northern Maine, residents had a much different weather experience.

The National Weather Service office in Caribou reported Sunday night that Caribou set a new snowfall record for the date with 12.4 inches. That broke the daily record of 7.6 inches set in 1995, according to a statement posted on the office’s Facebook page. Up to a foot of snow fell in other areas north of Presque Isle.

But a little farther south, a different form of precipitation hampered travel.

Heavy sleet fell on communities north of Bangor, in a region stretching from Dover-Foxcroft and Millinocket to Presque Isle. Four inches of sleet was reported in the Aroostook County town of Easton with other areas getting between 1 and 3 inches of sleet.

“Sleet is not as dangerous as ice, it’s more granular. It would be like driving on sand,” NWS forecaster Victor Nouhan said.

It appears that a narrow band of freezing rain did fall on communities just north of Bangor, which caused a few power outages, but nothing on a widespread basis.

“Bangor and much of the rest of the Downeast stayed a touch above freezing and dodged a bullet,” the Caribou office wrote in its forecast.

Reports of power outages across Maine were minimal. As of Sunday night, Central Maine Power reported 175 outages, nearly all of them in Franklin County. Emera Maine reported 548 outages at 5 p.m., but by 6:30 p.m. the company was reporting zero outages.

Watson said it will be cloudy in Portland on Monday, with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark. The next chance for significant snowfall could come Wednesday night into Thursday, but Watson said it is too early to forecast amounts.

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