Ice, possibly some wet snow and then a stretch of cold rain running into Tuesday are in the cards for central and western Maine.

Top that off with a flood watch.

And if flooding doesn’t happen after 1 to 2 inches of cold rain fall between today and Tuesday, rain later in the week could cause flooding by the weekend.

“We could be just setting up for later in the week,” meteorologist Steve Capriola said.

Capriola, with the National Weather Service in Gray, said today’s rainfall will probably have more effect on smaller streams than larger rivers. That’s providing that any ice still covering rivers doesn’t break, then jam, which could result in localized floods.

He suspects that a second storm heading toward northern New England later in the week will do more to raise water levels. “It should be warmer,” he said, which could produce more melting.

“And the snowpack is ripening,” Capriola said Sunday evening. “That sets the stage” for what’s to come.

Snow cover ranges widely around the state, he noted, with 8 inches on the ground at the Portland Jetport and 18 inches at the Weather Service station in Gray. “Farther inland and in the mountains there could be considerably more snow,” he said.

A warm rain later in the week, particularly after an inch to 2 inches fall between today and Wednesday, could result in a heavy runoff.

Capriola said the ground isn’t likely to sponge up much of that water, either. In places it’s still frozen, which means water will quickly run off, while in other places it’s already saturated.

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