Late season storm dumping heavy, wet snow in mountains


RUMFORD — A late-season snowstorm was expected to wallop higher elevations Tuesday night into Wednesday, dumping up to a foot or more of heavy, wet snow in the mountains of western Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

“Certainly, the higher elevations will see 4 to 6 inches of snow, and the lower elevations like in Rumford, are probably looking at 1, maybe 2 inches at the most,” Tom Hawley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, said Tuesday.

“I think it will be mostly rain at Rumford, but as you climb up to Height of Land, by the time you get to Roxbury, you may see an inch or two up there, and certainly once you get to Height of Land, that’s where your highest amounts are going to be.”

According to Tuesday’s urgent winter weather bulletin from the weather service, “a potent upper level system dropping south from eastern Canada” is the culprit.

Heavy, wet snow could fell tree limbs and power lines, which may cause scattered power outages, the bulletin warned.

Precipitation is expected to continue Wednesday with snow in the higher terrain and a mix of rain and snow in lower areas. By late Wednesday afternoon, the forecast states total snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches are expected, the bulk of which would be in higher elevations.

And because colder air is hitting Vermont and New Hampshire first, they’ll likely get higher amounts than western Maine.

“I would think in the northeast kingdom of Vermont — Smuggler’s Notch and those areas — probably will get more than us, but right now, the forecast that I see up there is for 8 to 14 inches, with 16 inches plus above 2,000 feet,” Hawley said.

Sugarloaf Mountain Resort in Carrabassett Valley, the only ski area still open east of Colorado, is expecting 7 to 12 inches of snow from Tuesday into Wednesday, spokesman Ethan Austin said Tuesday.

Mount Washington in New Hampshire, which still has 17 inches on the ground, is expecting 8 to 14 inches of new snow by the end of the day Wednesday, with nearly a foot expected at Pinkham Notch, staff meteorologist Ryan Knapp said Tuesday.

“South of Rumford, we’re all going to get rain,” Hawley said. “Down here where we are (in Gray), there may be a few wet flakes mixed in, but we’re not going to get any accumulations south of Rumford.”

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