A wintry mix of freezing rain and snow will head into Maine on Wednesday morning, creating slick and potentially dangerous driving conditions for the morning commute.

“The precipitation will start as you are heading out the door and will continue through the morning hours before tapering in the afternoon,” said Greg Cornwell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray.

The weather service issued a winter weather advisory that will remain in effect from 1 a.m. through 4 p.m. Wednesday. The greatest potential for slick roads will occur between 5 and 6 a.m.

While it will look like rain, the precipitation will turn to ice in many areas when it hits the ground, Cornwell said. Ice accumulations of about two-tenths of an inch are forecast for foothill areas and along the coast. Inland areas north of Auburn and Augusta are likely to get 1 to 3 inches of snow.

Bridges and overpasses will likely become slick and hazardous as well, the weather service said, as will stairs, sidewalks and driveways.

Gov. Janet Mills issued a statement Tuesday urging motorists to exercise caution during the storm. State offices will open at 11 a.m. Wednesday, and legislative offices will be closed from Wednesday through Dec. 27.

Though winter officially began Tuesday, there has been little snowfall so far this year. As of Dec. 21, Portland had received just 5.3 inches of snow, 3 inches below normal. Last year on this date, Portland had received 20.1 inches of snow, Cornwell said.

Cornwell said Thursday and Friday should be drier, but Maine could see snow showers Friday night into Saturday morning.

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