Maine’s roller-coaster weather will continue over the next three days, with warmer air arriving Sunday, a slight cool-down Monday and a little uptick in the thermometers Tuesday.

Snow depths from a storm Saturday generally ranged from 4 to 6 inches across southern Maine, said Margaret Curtis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray. The snow tapered off in southern Maine around nightfall, she said, but continued through the midcoast and Down East Maine, where most towns and cities would also see 4 to 6 inches, she said.

The Maine Turnpike reduced speeds to 45 mph from Kittery to Augusta on Saturday as the snowstorm blanketed Maine – just in time for the last full weekend for Christmas shopping. The reduced speed limit remained in place through early Saturday evening as road crews were busy cleaning up the last of the snowfall and spreading sand and salt to prepare for freezing rain that is expected Sunday morning.

The storm caused some slipping and sliding on area roads and a few fender benders, but police said there were no serious accidents, despite heavy traffic due to the countdown to Christmas.

The forecast triggered parking bans throughout the region. A parking ban in Portland was due to be into effect from 10 p.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Sunday.

Parking bans were also called in Falmouth from midnight Saturday until 6 a.m. Sunday and in Scarborough until 11:50 p.m. Saturday. Overnight parking is banned in Scarborough during the winter from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m., so there was to be a small window for onstreet parkign late Saturday and early Sunday.

Temperatures were expected to rise slowly Saturday night but remain below freezing. That means precipitation that falls Sunday morning should begin as freezing rain, Curtis said, but it will switch over to all rain fairly quickly along the coast. Inland areas, including Lewiston and the western Maine foothills, should see freezing rain persist longer, she said, but it should turn to all rain everywhere before ending Sunday afternoon. Skies will clear late Sunday and temperatures will rise into the 40s, Curtis said, but will drop back below freezing overnight with clear skies Monday and highs in the 20s. Temperatures will bounce back up to the 30s Tuesday, she said, and highs will stay there most of the rest of the week with the next chance for snow Thursday.

Saturday’s storm took a toll along much of the East Coast, triggering airport delays in the nation’s capital and major traffic pileups in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, The Associated Press reported.

Authorities said two people were killed and at least several were injured Saturday when a gasoline tanker careened off Interstate 95 in Baltimore and caught fire. Local news media reported that the crash caused a pileup involving dozens of cars, and the Baltimore Sun reported that 15 people were taken to the hospital.

It was not immediately clear whether the crash was caused by slick roads, although scores of traffic accidents were being reported across the region because of the storm, according to the AP.


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