A midweek storm could drop nearly a foot of snow on Bangor, hitting the city hardest during Wednesday’s afternoon commute, according to early forecasts.

Starting late Wednesday morning, the quick-moving storm is expected to follow a diagonal path from Maine’s southwest corner up through the northeast, covering the state’s south-central corridor with the heaviest amounts of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

On Monday afternoon, the weather service issued a winter storm watch for most of Maine.

Snow predictions could change, but early estimates forecast that metropolitan cities — including Bangor — will get between 6 and 10 inches, according to the weather service. Snowfall amounts in that range are expected from Kittery to Houlton.

Lesser amounts will collect along the eastern coastline, where the precipitation is expected to mix with rain, forecasters said. The winter storm watch issued on Monday does not include northern Aroostook County, which could get 1 to 3 inches of snow.

“It will have the biggest impact Wednesday night,” slicking the roads and hampering visibility during the afternoon commute, according to Nikki Becker, a forecaster with the weather service in Gray.

The storm is predicted to zoom over the state and reach the Atlantic Ocean by Thursday morning, sparing Aroostook County the brunt of the snowfall, forecasters said. Maine’s northern half should see snow totals pile at the lower end of the range, closer to a half a foot than a foot, they said.

Messy weather is forecast along the coast, where warmer air is predicted to rise above freezing and change the snow to rain or sleet, according to Tony Mignon, a forecaster with the weather service in Caribou. It’s unclear where the line of change will occur, but based on earlier predictions, people living within 25 miles of the ocean should prepare for wetter weather, Mignon said.

The forecast will likely change as the storm draws closer, Mignon and Becker said.

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Callie Ferguson

Callie Ferguson is an investigative reporter for the Bangor Daily News. She writes about criminal justice, police and housing.