After several mild, sunny days, the weather is expected to take a turn for the worse on Friday as a spring nor’easter blows into the state with the potential for 6 inches or more of snow in some inland areas.

The National Weather Service Office in Gray issued a winter storm watch Wednesday afternoon. The combination of heavy, wet snow on tree limbs combined with gusty northeasterly winds could also cause power outages.

“Elevation is going to be a big factor with this storm,” said meteorologist Hunter Tubbs. “We’re going to get a coating to one inch of snow along the coast and in Portland, but as you move further inland places like Fryeburg and the western Maine mountains could see 6 to 10 inches of snow.”

Tubbs said it is not unusual for Maine to experience an early spring snowstorm. The record for the latest measurable snowfall occurred on May 11, 1945, when Portland recorded 5 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. That storm turned out to be a two-day event with an additional 2 inches falling on May 12.

The weather service is predicting that precipitation from the nor’easter will begin in Portland late Thursday night and continue through Friday. Tubbs said his greatest concern is the wind gusts, which could reach 35 to 40 mph along the coast. If that happens, the nor’easter might cause some power outages.

Tubbs said the snow should melt quickly afterward with temperatures reaching the low to mid 50s in Portland on Sunday.

Parts of southern Vermont could get up to a half a foot of snow. Fryeburg, Rumford, Farmington, Rangeley and Eustis are among the Maine communities likely to receive measurable snow by the time the storm ends Friday evening.


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