The first significant snowstorm of the season pushed Maine into winter mode on Saturday.

The storm was on track to drop as much as 6 inches of snow across most of the state before it ends early Sunday. It started around noon in Kittery and moved slowly north, hitting Waterville in the early afternoon and Caribou by 5 p.m. The western foothills were forecast to get only 2 to 4 inches. Emergency dispatchers said slick roads triggered dozens of slide-offs and fender benders, but few injuries. Saco police said a driver and a passenger were transported to the hospital after a two-car accident near the Sunrise Motel on Portland Road, but their condition was unknown Saturday night.

James Brown, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Gray, said that although some inland areas of Maine received a dusting to several inches of snow on Nov. 13, Saturday’s storm was the first statewide storm of the season.

By 7:37 p.m. Saturday, 3.1 inches of snow had fallen in York; 3 inches in Saco, Gray, Gorham and Falmouth; and 2.5 inches at Portland International Jetport, according to unofficial weather service observations.

The snow is not likely to melt significantly before another storm moves in from the south Tuesday into Wednesday, Brown said. Daytime temperatures Sunday and Monday will be in the low 30s in southern coastal locations and in the 20s elsewhere.

Brown said it is too early to know what the next storm will bring.

“We want to get by this storm before concerning ourselves with” the next one, he said.

The weather service reported that the storm would wind down overnight, from south to north. On Saturday, the weather service issued a winter weather advisory for the entire state, meaning periods of snow would cause travel difficulties, with snow-covered roads and limited visibility. The Maine Turnpike Authority reduced speeds to 45 mph Saturday afternoon along the entire length of the toll highway – from Kittery to Augusta.

Sagadahoc County saw a half-dozen minor accidents in a half hour Saturday afternoon in the Topsham and Bowdoinham areas but nothing serious, said a dispatcher. The Brunswick Police Department reported on its Facebook page that it responded to eight accidents in a 90-minute period. Dispatchers across Cumberland and York counties said they had received dozens of calls, some with minor injuries.

Portland International Jetport issued a reminder to travelers to check their flights. About a half-dozen flights from Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and other East Coast airports were delayed or canceled at the jetport Saturday. Bangor International Airport listed a canceled flight from Philadelphia, as well as storm-related delays on two flights from Washington, D.C., and New York. An outbound flight to Washington, D.C., was also delayed.

The storm triggered parking bans in Portland from 10 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday, in Scarborough from midnight Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday, in Saco from 10 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday, in Auburn from 11 p.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday, in Brunswick from 12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m. Sunday, in Bangor from 11 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday; and in Falmouth from 8 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday.

Staff Writer Megan Doyle contributed to this report.

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

[email protected]

Twitter: bquimby

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