People throughout the state spent Sunday digging out from the season’s first significant snowstorm, but Mainers shouldn’t get too comfortable because another storm packing plenty of snow is heading this way Tuesday.

And that storm will be followed by another challenge: A bitter Arctic cold front will envelop all of the state on Thursday.

“Tuesday’s storm looks like a bit of a mess,” Eric Sinsabaugh, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Gray, said Sunday evening.

The weather service said Tuesday’s storm has the potential to dump 6 or more inches of snow on interior sections of Maine. A mix of snow, sleet and rain is being forecast directly along the coast. Sinsabaugh predicts the wintry mix will make for a real mess in coastal communities such as Portland.

Sinsabaugh defined interior sections as any area away from the coastline, including such places as Windham, Westbrook and Gray in Cumberland County.

Forecasters are taking Tuesday’s storm seriously, with the National Weather Service issuing a winter storm watch Sunday afternoon.

The storm watch will take effect late Monday night and remain in effect through late Tuesday night. It warns that heavy snow is possible – along with difficult travel conditions – during the morning and evening commutes Tuesday.

Winter doesn’t officially begin until Dec. 21, but there was plenty of snow on the ground Sunday to remind people that more storms are likely headed our way.

According to snowfall totals compiled by the National Weather Service, the weekend storm dropped 6.4 inches in Portland; 7.5 inches in Kennebunk; 6.8 inches in Falmouth, 7 inches in Hope; 8 inches in Presque Isle; 9 inches in Deer Isle; and 8 inches in Wesley, a town in Washington County.

Sinsabaugh said the weather will turn extremely cold on Thursday, with most areas of Maine seeing low temperatures ranging from 5 below zero to 5 above.

Saturday’s storm moved into the state around noon in Kittery and moved slowly north, hitting Waterville in the early afternoon and Caribou by 5 p.m.

Emergency dispatchers said slick roads triggered dozens of slide-offs and fender benders. The storm triggered several parking bans.

 

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