A slow-moving nor’easter packing wind gusts of up to 50 mph could drop as much as 10 inches of wet, heavy snow in Portland and up to a foot in other areas of Maine, prompting a slew of school and transportation cancellations, as well as warnings about the potential for outages and dangerous driving.

It will start snowing in Portland around dawn Tuesday and will snow throughout the day and evening hours, according to the National Weather Service Office in Gray. The storm will linger into Wednesday before it moves offshore some time Wednesday afternoon.

“It is going to be a long event,” National Weather Service meteorologist Hunter Tubbs said. “It is going to do a loop over Maine, prolonging the amount of time that it will be here.”

By the time the nor’easter moves out of the state, most interior regions of the state below Rumford and Skowhegan will be blanketed under 8 to 12 inches of snow, while coastal regions will probably be looking at 7 to 10 inches, Tubbs said. Farther north, in places like Jackman, the snowfall amounts will be in the 3- to 4-inch range. Places like Sanford as well as interior York County and the Monadnock region of southwest New Hampshire will be hit the hardest, with accumulations reaching 12 to 18 inches.

The prediction for wet, heavy snow and wind gusts reaching up to 50 mph along the coast has Maine utility companies preparing for power outages.

“We are closely monitoring a long duration winter storm that will be moving into our area tonight. To prepare, we are pre-staging additional line and vegetation management crews across our service territory,” CMP spokesperson Jon Breed said Monday. “This winter season has brought Maine several storms of this nature, with fallen trees and vehicle accidents being a common cause for power outages. With strong winds and wet snow expected, we urge caution if you need to travel on Tuesday and Wednesday as conditions will be hazardous.”

Versant Power, which serves utility customers in northern and Down East Maine said Monday that it is preparing for a storm expected to bring heavy, wet snow and high winds to coastal and central Maine.

“Heavy snow can weigh down power lines and trees, bringing down lines and causing unsafe travel conditions and power outages,” said Larry Rocha, storm manager for Versant Power. “We have field crews ready to respond tomorrow and Wednesday to address hazardous conditions and make any necessary repairs safely and as quickly as possible.”

Gov. Janet Mills ordered all state offices closed on Tuesday and encouraged Mainers to not drive unless they have to.

“The storm arriving tomorrow is expected to create dangerous driving conditions, especially during the morning and evening commutes,” Mills said in a statement. “I encourage Maine people to stay off the roads if they can, plan for extra time if traveling, and give plenty of space to road crews and first responders working hard to keep us safe.”

Public safety threats posed by the storm prompted a flurry of school cancellations, parking bans and public transportation schedule changes on Monday.


Zach Sundquist, spokesman for the Portland International Jetport, urged travelers to check with their airlines before coming to the airport Tuesday. Only one flight had been canceled as of Monday afternoon, but that number was expected to grow Tuesday as the storm intensifies to the south and affects flights in New York City and Philadelphia.

“Regardless of much snow we get, the wind gusts will be challenging. It will be difficult to land if winds are gusting at 50 mph,” Sundquist said.

Concord Coach Lines’ website said that inclement weather will force it to close its Bangor bus terminal at 12:45 p.m. Several trips from Portland to Boston and Boston to Portland on Tuesday have been canceled. Concord’s last bus trip departing Portland for Boston’s South Station and Logan Airport will be 9:30 a.m. and the last bus departing Logan Airport for Portland will be 11:35 a.m.

The Amtrak Downeaster connecting Brunswick and Boston announced on its website that on Tuesday it is canceling the southbound 688 leaving Brunswick at 5:45 p.m. and the northbound 689 leaving Boston at 10:30 p.m. On Wednesday, it is canceling the southbound 680 leaving Brunswick at 4:30 a.m. and the northbound 681 leaving Boston at 8:50 a.m.

Several communities announced parking bans in advance of Tuesday’ storm including Scarborough, Falmouth, Gorham, Old Orchard Beach, Sanford and Cape Elizabeth.

In addition to parking bans, a number of school districts announced late Monday that Tuesday would be a snow day. Among  those districts canceling classes were Brunswick, York, Biddeford and RSU 5, which includes the towns of Durham, Freeport and Pownal. RSU 21, which includes Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel, also canceled all it classes Tuesday.

MSAD 51, which includes Cumberland and North Yarmouth, opted to go with a virtual learning day on Tuesday, as did MSAD 6, which includes students from Buxton, Hollis, Limington, Standish and Frye Island. Thornton Academy in Saco and the Wells-Ogunquit school district opted for remote learning Tuesday.

The University of New England, which operates campuses in Biddeford and Portland, announced on social media that its campuses will be closed Tuesday. Southern Maine Community College in South Portland also canceled all its Tuesday classes.


Spring officially begins Monday, but the National Weather Service says a storm of this magnitude so late in the season is not uncommon. In Portland, the record for most snowfall in March was set March 12-14, 1939, with 21.9 inches of snow. More recently, 16.4 inches of snow fell in Portland on March 14-15 in 2017 and 15.7 inches fell in Portland on March 7-8 in 2018.

“March is a transition month between winter and spring,” said Tubbs, the weather service metereologist. “It’s still winter in this part of the country.”

The average snowfall amount for March in Portland is 13.6 inches. So far, Portland has seen 9.6 inches of snow, which means Tuesday’s snowstorm is likely to put the city over its March average.

The record for March snow accumulations for Portland was set in 1993 with 49 inches, Tubbs said.

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