A shift from snow to sleet and freezing rain has prompted the National Weather Service to extend a winter weather advisory from inland Maine to most of the coast.

Late Tuesday afternoon, NWS forecasters issued an update indicating that much of the state is expected to get a coating of ice from freezing precipitation during the early evening hours on Tuesday.

“The ice will result in difficult travel conditions, including during the evening commute,” NWS forecasters in Gray wrote in the update.

Precipitation is expected to end this evening along the coast, but to continue into the early morning hours for areas further inland. Snow and some ice are expected to continue to accumulate in far northern Maine and in highland areas throughout the night.

“A band of heavier stuff is just moving through New Hampshire now,” James Brown, a NWS forecaster in Gray, said at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. “We’re going to see some [ice] glazing out of this. It’s going to make things a tough go, if they aren’t already.”

Winds late Tuesday afternoon and evening were expected to reach speeds between 20 and 30 mph, with gusts above 40 mph, according to NWS forecasters. A gale warning was issued for all offshore U.S. waters from the Canadian boundary south to off the coast of Georgia.

Because of the inclement weather, many schools, businesses and government offices opted to reduce their operating hours or to remain closed on Tuesday. A list of the closures can be found online at bangordailynews.com/closings.

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....