The bad news: It’s snowing pretty good Thursday morning. 

The good news: Most areas are expected to get fewer than 6 inches, and forecasters say it will be light, fluffy snow, not the back-breaking wet stuff that dropped in the last storm. 

The misery — or joy, depending on your perspective — is expected to begin late Wednesday night and forecasters say the storm will grind on into late Thursday afternoon. 

Up to half a foot of snow is expected in the Androscoggin County area, although forecasters say it could turn out to be as little as 3 inches. Three to 5 inches are expected in Oxford County while to the north the storm could result in nothing more than a dusting. 

Coastal areas are expected to see more snow, with 11 inches in the forecast for Portland.


It will be cold, too, with temperatures expected to drop into the teens. And windy, with gusts predicted at up to 35 mph, according to the National Weather Service. 

With the pending storm in mind. The Auburn School Department announced that Thursday will be a remote learning day for all students.

Lewiston went a step further, announcing that they would cancel school outright, making it a bona fide snow day. In a letter to parents, Superintendent K. Jake Langlois said he made the decision early in hopes of easing anxieties.

“Normally, I would wait until early morning to make this announcement after gathering up-to-the-moment information,” he wrote. “However, I feel the waiting and looming anxieties of COVID-19 have pushed so many to a place of concern that I want to take advantage of getting ahead of a situation​. Some may find it refreshing.”

But the superintendent wasn’t done. After giving kids and their parents a break Thursday, he urged them to make the most of it.

“I ask that you take the day as a true snow day,” he wrote. “We want to grab a sense of normalcy where we can. I hope kids and staff can watch the snow fall, build a fort or snowman, sled, sip hot chocolate, read a book, rest after the cleanup, spend time with loved ones, watch a movie, and separate from all that has become an adaptive hybrid lifestyle due to COVID-19 for a day.”


As storms go, it should be a good one. Pine Tree Weather was calling for “a good old-fashioned snow storm” without all the rain that complicated the last storm. 

“On this day of warmer average temperatures over our winters, a straight all snow event is a rare feature,” wrote weather forecaster Mike Haggett. “There is usually some sort of sleet or freezing rain mix, or a coastal front to contend with. Thanks to the arctic blast that came in Tuesday, this storm is set up to be all snow, and fluffy at that.” 

Haggett predicted that the storm will kick into its highest gear in the wee hours of Thursday morning and continue into the early day commute.  

“It will come down hard and blow around in the most populated areas of the state,” Haggett wrote. “That is the challenge with this one.”

Most cities and towns were issuing parking bans so public works crews can clear the streets. Auburn police posted theirs Wednesday afternoon, announcing a ban to run between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. Thursday. Lewiston police followed suit, announcing a ban that will be in effect from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Thursday.

Haggett advised that the storm has a potential to be a bust in some area if the storm track jogs to the south. At the same time, he said conditions are likely to be lousy for travel no matter how much snow falls.

“Understand this: the snow is going to blow around,” Haggett wrote. “This is going to be miserable to measure. This storm may not be measured by inches on the ground, but by the feet of the drifts. The Thursday morning commute is going to be difficult for southern areas.”

Not for Lewiston school students, it won’t. With the unexpected day off and no place for them to be, their biggest difficulty Thursday may be the matter of how to fashion light, fluffy snow into respectable snowballs.

“I truly hope,” Langlais said, “the kids can be kids for a day.”

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