Snow, rain, wind and high seas will cause major travel issues and significant local impacts on Friday as a large storm kicks into high gear.

Unlike last week’s storm, this time Mainers will need to prepare the generators for a much different type of storm. A large area of low pressure will “bomb out” over the Great Lakes as it rapidly strengthens in a short amount of time. This will increase a southeasterly wind ahead of the storm in Maine. Wind gusts will be more than 60 mph at times on Friday with the greatest threat during a cold front passing through the region Friday evening.

A period of high astronomical tides exists for Friday and Portland could see a top ten all-time tide of more than 13 feet with a storm surge of more than 2 1/2 feet. The records go back to 1912 for the Portland tide chart.

Rivers are running at or above normal and rain will move in and be heavy at times on Friday. If the snow melts rapidly and the rain falls heavily in a short amount of time we could see flash flooding across the state.

Rainfall amounts of more than 2 to 3 inches with locally heavier amounts, combined with snowmelt will bring a significant flood threat for a large chunk of the state, especially in the favored upslope areas of the foothills.

Here is how much snow is expected to fall Thursday night into Friday morning before it’s washed away by the rainfall.

Bottom line: Mainers should clear storm drains, get extra fuel for generators and have non-perishable food ready to last through the Holiday weekend. I expect travel delays across the United States beginning on Thursday through Saturday with Friday being one of the biggest travel days of the year. This is a high impact event for Maine with major disruptions to life and travel expected.

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