A weekend storm that is expected to sweep over the state could bring up to 20 inches of snow to the Down East region on Saturday.
A blizzard warning has been issued by the National Weather Service that covers Washington, Hancock, Waldo, Penobscot and Knox County, as well as the southern point of Aroostook County and coastal Maine, and will be in effect from 10 a.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Total snow accumulations from 10 to 15 inches are expected inland, with 14 to 20 inches expected along the coast. Wind gusts of 30 to 45 mph could create white-out conditions, significant snow drifting and power outages, the NWS office in Caribou said on Friday evening.
The latest snowfall forecast. The storm is expected to intensify rapidly over the next 24 hours. The pressure is expected to fall around 35 mb by Saturday evening. Meteorologists often refer to this as explosive intensification, which is where the term “bomb cyclone” came from. pic.twitter.com/ZjPICuowGl— NWS Eastern Region (@NWSEastern) January 28, 2022
Due to low visibility, travel is not recommended, the weather service warned, as well as noting that a wind chill will make temperatures feel like 25 degrees below zero. Frostbite or hypothermia can occur in as little as 30 minutes under these conditions.
If you do travel, make sure to carry an emergency kit with you, and if you get stranded, it is recommended to stay with your vehicle. White out conditions can cause disorientation, and you may not be able to find your vehicle if you leave it.
A winter storm warning has been issued for northeast Aroostook and Piscataquis counties, where a total snow accumulation of 6 to 11 inches and wind gusts of 30 to 35 mph are expected.
A winter weather advisory for western Maine predicts that the region will get 3 to 7 inches of snow accumulation accompanied by wind gusts of 30 to 35 mph.
A storm warning extends along the coast, with winds reaching 35 to 45 knots, and seas of 13 to 18 feet and freezing spray. The National Weather Service warns that operating craft in these conditions can be hazardous.