Falling snow and repeating patterns show themselves on the backside of a building in Portland on Wednesday. Credit: Troy R. Bennett

Eastern coastal Maine could have up to a foot of snow by the time the latest round of winter precipitation ends, according to forecasters.

The National Weather Service expanded a winter storm warning Wednesday morning to coastal Hancock and Washington counties to reflect the higher expected amounts of snowfall east of Penobscot Bay. The warning was scheduled to be in effect until 11 p.m. Wednesday.

“Storm total snow accumulations of 8 to 12 inches are expected,” NWS forecasters wrote in a statement. “Be prepared for significant reductions in visibility at times to at or below 1/2 mile in snowfall. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.”

Predicted snowfall amounts of around half a foot were still expected for Androscoggin, Cumberland (including Portland), Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Waldo and York counties, where a winter storm warning was expected to remain in effect until 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Approximately half a foot of snow also is predicted for southern Oxford, Franklin and Somerset counties. Inland eastern Maine, roughly from Dedham north to Lincoln and Vanceboro — including Bangor — could receive between 4 and 8 inches. Northern Maine and the western mountains are expected to get only a couple of inches.

Despite the storm warning, and the closure of many schools and government offices throughout the state, Wednesday’s weather was not expected to have the same impact as a more severe storm that hit Maine earlier this month.

“It’s not like it was during that blizzard,” said Vic Nouhan, a forecaster for the weather service in Gray, referring to a Jan. 4 storm that blasted the state with heavy snow and whiteout conditions. Rather than being propelled by high winds, Wednesday’s snow was caused by a wedge of cold air moving beneath a warmer air mass, causing condensation, he said.

The snow made for slick travel conditions. According to TV news station WABI, four vehicles were involved in a crash Wednesday morning on Route 1A in Dedham that injured four people. The road was temporarily closed due to the accident.

The lack of strong winds has resulted in few power outages in the state. The state’s two largest electric utilities, Central Maine Power and Emera Maine, together had about two dozen customers without power early Wednesday afternoon.

Milder temperatures accompanied Wednesday’s snow, ranging in the low 20s in the north, and in the high 20s to low 30s in the south, according to the weather service. The high in Bangor Wednesday was predicted to be 28 degrees.

BDN writer Callie Ferguson contributed to this report.

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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....