A massive winter snowstorm is moving toward Maine and by the time it ends Saturday night forecasters are predicting it will dump 12 to 18 inches of snow in Portland.

The National Weather Service Office in Gray issued a winter storm watch late Thursday afternoon saying that the weather event will hit the eastern Great Lakes on Friday before shifting course toward Maine. Forecasters predict heavy snow will begin falling in Portland around 1 a.m. Saturday.

A woman tries to cover up from the falling snow while walking through a grocery store parking lot in Portland on Feb. 23. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Meteorologist Stephen Baron said it will continue to snow throughout the day Saturday and likely won’t end until around 9 p.m. York and Cumberland counties, especially the coastal areas, can expect to see up to 18 inches of snow before the storm finally ends.

Because of the high amount of snowfall expected, the City of Portland has issued a parking ban for Friday and Saturday nights, stretching from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following morning.

The National Weather Service is predicting that snow accumulation amounts will gradually decrease the farther north the storm moves. Fryeburg, Auburn and Wiscasset could see 8-12 inches, with Augusta and Belfast facing 6-8 inches of snow. Jackman in northern Maine could see 2-3 inches.

If the predictions hold true, the snow totals would rival the 17.6 inches that fell on Portland on Dec. 17, 2020, according to News Center Maine. Portland got 15.7 inches of snow on March 7-8, 2018.


Baron said power outages are not likely since the snow will be moderately light. He said the possibility of roof collapses is also not high because the snow from this storm will not be wet and heavy, though it will be piling up on top of existing accumulations.

Winds, however, could gust up to 40 mph along the coast. The National Weather Service said the combination of blowing snow and heavy snow could lower visibility and make driving conditions dangerous.

Once the storm ends, Baron predicts there will be a break in the stormy weather pattern.

“In the short term, we should be clear for a while,” he said.

Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story