GRAY, Maine — Down East and coastal regions braced for up to a foot of snow expected overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for coastal Hancock and Washington counties for a winter storm expected to move in late Tuesday night and into Wednesday.

The warning is in effect from 4 a.m. Wednesday through midnight.

In addition, northern Washington County and inland Hancock County are under a winter storm warning, according to the weather service.

Five to 8 inches of snow are expected to fall in Hancock County with 8-12 inches forecast for Washington County.

Potential for strong winds and blowing snow prompted the weather service to issue the blizzard warning, with gusts up to 55 mph expected. Travel is not recommended.

The storm churning up the East Coast isn’t expected to dump accumulating snow on Bangor and points south and west, according to the weather service.

Michael Hinerman, director of the Washington County emergency management agency, said he was contacting towns — particularly coastal communities — to make sure they were aware of the impending winter storm. He said he would call officials in coastal towns and notify others by email after receiving the latest update from the National Weather Service on Tuesday.

“It’s going to sideswipe us,” Hinerman said Tuesday morning. The areas that will be hit the hardest are those farthest east, such as Lubec and Eastport, he said. “They stick out a little more to the east.”

Eastport and Lubec are the easternmost communities in the U.S.

“It’s one of those storms … a variation of 50 miles could make a big difference,” said Hinerman.

The weather conditions will depend on the precise track the storm takes, he noted.

“We’re right on the edge of a severe storm, but the track is going to be very important,” Hinerman said.

In addition, the Coast Guard urged boaters prepare for the storm by seeking shelter and securing vessels.

Any loose equipment is urged to be secured, and people are advised to stay clear of beaches and dangerous overlooks.

BDN writer Tim Cox contributed to this report.

Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective...