It’s that time of the year when Mr. Grinch rolls into town a few days before Christmas to crush any hopes for a white Christmas.

This year’s storm will bring rain starting Sunday evening in southern Maine and pushing north and east overnight. The worst of the wind holds off until middle of the day Monday, with widespread power outages expected for Bangor and Down East.

Much like last year’s storm, mariners will have to contend with high seas, with waves up to 30 feet near the shore Down East. Add a few inches of rain with snowmelt, and we have a recipe for a major storm in the Pine Tree State.

Low pressure is strengthening off the coast of Georgia-Carolina, and it will only get stronger when a piece of energy from the Ohio Valley merges with the primary coastal low on Monday. We call this “phasing” – essentially, the storm is getting a steroid shot of energy.

By Monday, steady rain will fall from Presque Isle down to Kittery. It won’t be a nor’easter or even a coastal storm, but it will be powerful. This is a typical inland runner track, much like last year’s storm. These storm tracks allow plenty of moisture to come off the ocean and then get squeezed out with the upslope flow.

That’s a recipe for a lot of rain – at least 3 to 4 inches for the southeast-facing slopes of the western Maine mountains and the White Mountains in New Hampshire.


The green counties have flood watches up through Tuesday due to rapid snowmelt and runoff. I’d watch the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers closely.

Wind is also a major factor with this storm as a low-level jet stream will move through the region Monday. Think of this like a low-flying plane, and with enough heavy rain, the high wind a few thousand feet in the sky will be transported down to ground level.

Down East and Bangor will see the worst of it Monday, with gusts of more than 60 mph.

By Monday morning, the storm will cover the entire state with rain. It’ll be heavy in southern Maine.

The storm will down for southern Maine by Monday evening and be gone entirely by early Tuesday morning.

The power outage threat is greatest Down East, but even the hilltops will see gusts of more than 50 mph.

Don’t expect any snow to be left in Maine for Christmas. You can thank Mr. Grinch.

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