Midweek storm a buffet of precipitation

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As another storm bears down on the state Tuesday and Wednesday, precipitation amounts will vary but a mixed bag of snow, sleet, wind and freezing rain bears all the markings of a powerful nor’easter.

According to Stacie Hanes of the National Weather Service office in Gray, the combination of rain, snow and sleet gives this nor’easter some punch.

“You’ll have some precipitation starting out as probably some light snow overnight,” Hanes said. “Freezing drizzle, a little bit of light snow and then by tomorrow morning, changing over to all snow — getting heavier throughout the day.

“By the afternoon, you’ll probably be in rain or snow,” Hanes said. Depending on how far inland the temperature line reaches, “it’s either going to be heavy rain or heavy snow.”

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Hanes said Central Maine may see a few gusts but the strongest winds should stick to the coast.

According to Hanes, the Lewiston and Auburn area can expect anywhere from 2 to 6 inches of snow.

Hanes said the Rangeley area could expect to see 8 to 10 inches while more mountainous areas of Franklin and Oxford counties could receive up to 14 inches.

Hanes said to expect a period of freezing rain and sleet in between the transition between snow and rain, making travel difficult, especially for early commuters.

The National Weather Service website said Monday evening that the low pressure associated with the nor’easter will linger until at least Friday, contributing to significant precipitation.

Heavy rain is expected through Wednesday, followed by spotty precipitation for the following two days.

Gradual clearing is expected for the weekend with warmer weather and clear skies Sunday and Monday.

Sarah Devlin of Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry summed up her feelings about the upcoming storm in one word: “Psyched.”

“We’ve been getting a ton of snow so far this season,” Devlin said. “It feels like every week we’re adding more to our snow totals.”

Devlin said, “It looks like this weather system is going to be huge — according to some models, we could be skiing on almost two feet of new snow by Thursday — just in time for Winterfest and our first weekend of night skiing for the season.”

Ethan Austin of Sugarloaf ski area in Carrabassett Valley said he expects a foot or so before it is all over, but snowmaking crews are already ahead of schedule for the season.

“We’re hopeful this storm will set us up perfectly for Christmas vacation week,” Austin said.

dmcintire@sunjournal.com

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