Monday’s weather forecast for most of the Maine coast calls for heavy rainfall and powerful winds, the perfect recipe for an evening that could be disrupted by widespread power outages and street flooding.

Some parts of the state, especially Down East Maine, could get as much as 4 to 5 inches of rain, with Portland looking at 2 inches and midcoast Maine 3 to 4 inches.

Adding to the weather mayhem will be powerful wind gusts along the coast reaching up to 50 mph, according to National Weather Service Office in Gray.

Meteorologist Michael Clair said the combination of wind and rain increases the chances of power outages, especially between 6 p.m. and midnight. Flooding is not as much of a concern, but ponding on roads and streets – caused by clogged storm drains – could pose travel challenges.

In Portland, it will start to rain between 11 a.m. and noon, Clair said. The rain will continue through the afternoon, but will intensify during the evening hours. The wind gusts will also begin to pick up during the evening, producing a windswept rain that will make conditions miserable for anyone who ventures outside.

“The height of the storm will be from 6 p.m. to midnight,” Clair said. “But it will be a quick-hitting dose of rain.”

The rain should continue into Tuesday, a day that will bring breezy conditions and showers in Portland. Despite the threat of heavy rainfall and strong winds, Clair predicts temperatures will remain on the warm side.

The National Weather Service, in a post on its Facebook page Sunday, predicted Portland will receive 2.48 inches of rain, Brunswick 2.7 inches, Rockland 2.9 inches, Bar Harbor 3.5 inches and Machias 4.49 inches. The rain is expected to end in southern Maine by Tuesday afternoon, but regions of Down East Maine will have to contend with a second surge of rain and winds on Tuesday.

Despite receiving generous amounts of rain, much of the state remains in a drought, Clair said. While conditions have improved, he said the wells the state uses to monitor drought conditions are still low.

A statement issued by the Maine Emergency Management Agency a few days ago said the National Weather Service remains concerned with groundwater levels going into meteorological winter and ground freezing approaching.

“We seem to have lost some of the gains we had in October,” MEMA Deputy Director Joe Legee said. “It’s concerning as colder temperatures approach, increasing the potential for ground freeze to shut off any recharge.”

Monday is shaping up to be a memorable day in another way as well.  The last lunar eclipse of 2020 will occur early Monday morning. News Center Maine (WCSH-TV and WLBZ-TV) reported that the eclipse will begin at 2:32 a.m. and end at 6:53 a.m.

Known as a penumbral lunar eclipse, the event occurs when the moon passes through the Earth’s outer shadow – called the penumbra – and misses the darker inner shadow, which is called the umbra. The peak viewing moment will occur around 4:43 a.m. Viewing conditions in Maine will be fair due to the approaching storm.

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