The National Weather Service reported more than 10 inches of snow had fallen in Lewiston-Auburn as of 8 p.m. Tuesday during the latest nor’easter.
Meteorologists said Tuesday evening that Winter Storm Skylar was expected to deliver up to 24 inches of snow in some parts of the state, making Skylar the season’s biggest “weather event.”
According to weather service records, it is not unusual for heavy snow to fall in Maine on March 13. The list of Maine’s “Top 10 March Snowstorms” shows four have happened March 13-14, including a storm that dropped more than 16 inches in 2017.
The ninth-biggest storm? Last week’s.
If Skylar lives up to her billing, she could top the list.
Heavier snow — hourly accumulation of 2 to 3 inches — was expected to linger Tuesday night, before changing to lighter snow — an inch or less per hour — by mid-morning Wednesday, according to Eric Schwibs, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Gray.
Tuesday’s winds blew steadily at 15 to 25 mph, with stronger gusts creating significant drifting seen in many areas.
Weather models showed that Tuesday’s storm would be similar to last Thursday’s nor’easter. Unlike the heavy snow brought by last week’s storm, shoveling this week was lighter and easier for shovelers to handle.
The National Weather Service was predicting Tuesday that the total snowfall in Lewiston and Portland would be about 19 inches. Elsewhere, the forecasts called for Brunswick and Rangeley to get 19 inches; Rumford, 18 inches; and Fryeburg, 16 inches.
Snow accumulation in Minot at 8 p.m. was more than 12 inches, and Otisfield was reporting 15 inches at the same time.
Although some Mainers are certainly itching for spring, Schwibs said Tuesday’s storm would not be considered unusually late in the season.
“This is normal,” he said. “We often see snowstorms in March.”
In fact, he added: “There’s the potential next Wednesday for a nor’easter. So, we’ll have to watch that carefully.”
So no one should be putting those snow shovels away yet.
Not surprising, the storm created extremely hazardous driving conditions. Several accidents were reported throughout the region as motorists attempted to navigate in whiteout conditions.
Some people were simply taking advantage of the snow day.
Vicki Wiegman of Leeds said she was “bird-watching at the feeder outside our dining room window, planning a summer vacation to the beach and heading out on a snowshoe.”
Lewiston Police Officer Joe Phillipon said he spent the afternoon watching a movie with his son, Jackson.
Lewiston Superintendent Bill Webster said there would be no decision on school Wednesday until the morning, but he would try to make the call by 5 a.m.
Wilfred Spaulding runs errands in downtown Lewiston during Tuesday’s snowstorm. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
Brandon Dickey rides through Tuesday’s snowstorm on his way to the grocery store in Auburn. Dickey said riding in harsh weather is no problem because his bike is outfitted with fenders and studded tires. Dickey said he rides to and from work every day. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
Brian LeBlanc waits for the bus Tuesday in Auburn. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
Leo Potvin clears the snow from his truck Tuesday after his boss at DaVinci’s Eatery closed the Lewiston restaurant early. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
Road conditions in Lewiston and throughout Maine worsened as the day progressed Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)