The storm of the year might turn out to be the storm of the month.

Originally billed as the kind of weather event that hits once a season, a weekend storm that was supposed to leave up to 2 feet of snow over much of Maine did not reach those lofty expectations.

According to statewide snowfall accumulations posted Sunday night by the National Weather Service, the only places that came close to the forecasts were Newry and Presque Isle, both of which got 16 inches. Other totals included 14.8 inches in Caribou, 14 inches in Rockland and Farmington, 11 inches in Orono and 10.8 inches in Winslow.

The Portland International Jetport reported only 5.7 inches of snow, and several coastal towns and southern Maine communities didn’t make it to 10 inches. The snow totaled 8½ inches in North Windham and Wiscasset, 7 inches in Scarborough, 5 inches in South Portland, 6½ inches in Brunswick, 7 inches in Augusta, 8.4 inches in Bath, 7.8 inches in York and 5.2 inches in Saco.

Chris Kimble, a meteorologist with the weather service in Gray, said the snowstorm fizzled because a warm air mass – hovering 2,000 to 6,000 feet above the ground – moved into the region over the weekend. He said snow melts as it falls through the warm air mass at a high altitude, then turns to sleet or ice pellets as it moves through the colder air just above the ground.

Sleet was falling at 3 p.m. Sunday in Portland, where it was 10 degrees. It was also 10 degrees in Sanford, where there were snow flurries, and 4 degrees in Augusta, where sleet was falling.

During the day Sunday, it appeared that most Mainers had hunkered down for the storm. Many stores and businesses in Greater Portland were closed, and there were only a handful of people who had ventured out by midmorning searching for the few coffee shops open in Portland’s Old Port.

At noon in South Portland, only dog walkers and a few cross-country skiers and pedestrians were spotted around the Knightville and Willard Beach neighborhoods.

Seth Baker ventured out to buy a few things at the Shaw’s supermarket in the Mill Creek Shopping Plaza.

“I want hot chocolate. I want tea,” Baker said.

The South Portland House of Pizza at the plaza was also open, a sign outside optimistically advertising its football game day specials.

Owner Eric Bruneau said he had only closed a handful of times in 25 years, and plow operators and public road crews know that.

“We will have business today,” Bruneau said.

John Horne and Lauren Silverson drove from Falmouth to Cia’s coffee shop in Knightville to celebrate his 61st birthday.

“I called ahead to make sure they were open,” said Horne.

Farther north, Ken Jones of Burlington, Connecticut, braved the storm to pick up a rare 1975 Honda CB500T motorcycle in Fairfield. Jones stopped at the West Gardiner Service Plaza for coffee and to make sure the straps tying down the bike were secure.

“They only made it for two years,” Jones, a motorcycle collector, said of the bike.

He said the drive home was normally about five hours, but he didn’t know how long it would take in the snowy conditions.

Minor coastal flooding was reported in the usual spots. About 6 inches of water and ice covered Portland Pier at high tide at 9:45 a.m. The pier was closed off by road crews, who erected barriers at J’s Oyster restaurant.

Saco officials were monitoring flood-prone Camp Ellis on Sunday morning. There was a bit of splash-over but no serious problems, said Fire Department Capt. Bill Madore.

He said officials closed the area to motor vehicles as a precaution but there was no serious flooding at high tide.

Many churches canceled services in advance of the storm.

Despite slick road conditions, there apparently were no major motor vehicle crashes statewide Sunday, and only a few minor accidents were reported in central Maine.

Traffic was extremely light Sunday afternoon on Interstate 295, as well as on the Maine Turnpike spur between Freeport and South Portland.

The Maine Turnpike Authority reduced the speed limit to 45 mph, and it remained that way as of 9:25 p.m. Sunday.

“We don’t have a whole lot of people out there; we have had no crashes so far. People are staying home,” said Shira Andersen, a turnpike spokeswoman who went on duty at 8 a.m.

At 2:54 p.m., Central Maine Power Co. reported only two outages among its 639,002 customers, both in the Oxford County town of Brownfield. Emera Maine reported seven outages as of 3:10 p.m., all in Southwest Harbor, among its 159,000 customers in northern and eastern Maine.

As the storm began to move east Sunday night, the outages followed with 13 reported in the Knox County town of Cushing. Emera Maine at 8 p.m. reported 113 outages, most of them in Southwest Harbor, Bernard and Tremont.

Kimble said there is no snow in the forecast for the early part of the week, just teeth-chattering temperatures. He said the high temperature Monday in Portland may only be 10 degrees, and that the wind chill will make it feel like it’s 15 degrees below zero.

Things are expected to warm up Tuesday, with highs reaching into the mid-20s in Portland.

Staff Writer Sam Shepherd of the Kennebec Journal contributed to this report.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

[email protected]

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