Students in southern Maine could get an extension to the already long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, thanks to a storm system headed up the East Coast toward New England, forecasters said Friday.

William Watson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, said a winter storm watch was issued for York and Cumberland counties Friday for a system that could deliver snow in two waves, bringing 5 to 12 inches to the region starting Sunday afternoon.

“There is certainly the potential for significant snowfall for York and Cumberland counties,” Watson said. “It doesn’t look now like it will get too much further north than that.”

The forecast for Maine remains uncertain, although New Hampshire and southern New England are likely to feel the storm’s impact, Watson said. Both morning and evening commutes Monday could be tricky in southern Maine, he said.

The storm will complicate travel for millions of Americans returning home from the Thanksgiving holiday this weekend, The Washington Post reported.

The powerful storm has the potential to bring heavy snow to a sprawling region from the Intermountain West through the Plains all the way to the Great Lakes and New England. The storm, which has already prompted winter storm and blizzard warnings from Arizona to Wisconsin, will blast east over the next several days, setting the stage for the Northeast’s first major snowstorm of the season.

The storm will intensify Sunday as it rushes northeastward, passing southeast of Nantucket as it throws precipitation and wind back toward New England.

Bands of snow are possible from the Tug Hull Plateau in New York State to the Hudson Valley by late Sunday, with some six inch-plus totals possible when all is said and done on Monday.

But the real action will be focused in Southern New England, where precipitation moves in Sunday evening. Sunday night and much of Monday will then feature moderate to at times heavy snow, the Post reported.

In Maine, the system could bring two waves of snow, one Sunday afternoon through Monday morning, and a second Monday afternoon and evening, he said.

“If this were to pan out there would probably be a snow day I would think,” Watson said.

The storm system follows one that arrived Wednesday night, bringing high winds and power outages to thousands of homes and up to a foot of snow in northern Maine. On Friday night, fewer than 1,000 CMP customers were still without electricity, according to outage reports from Central Maine Power and Emera Maine.

Sunday’s snow would likely be limited to southern Maine, Watson said.

“There is certainly potential for decent snow fall from this one,” Watson said. “It’s something we are going to have to watch for the next couple of days. It could be something, it’s just a matter of how much something.”

Watson said the weather for Saturday, however, will be, “nice and dry and seasonably cool.”


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