After days of sleet and freezing rain leading up to the holiday, central Mainers got a blustery, snowy Christmas thanks to a storm that dumped upward of a foot snow around much of the state and resulted in whiteout driving conditions until the early afternoon.

There were 10 inches of snowfall in Winslow, 11 inches in Mount Vernon, and 8 inches in Hallowell, according to Margaret Curtis, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s station in Gray. Some central Maine locations saw even larger amounts, including Norridgewock and Auburn, where 12 and 14.5 inches fell, respectively.

The storm might have been furious, but it was also fast. By late afternoon, the sky had cleared and the sun even managed to cast a few rays on Augusta before setting and being replaced by a waxing half moon.

Curtis was not able to locate historical snowfall amounts for many parts of the state, but in Portland at least, the storm did not appear to break any Christmas records. Just 5 inches fell at Portland International Jetport, less than half the 12.5 inches that fell in 2002.

“It was your classic coastal nor’easter,” Curtis said around 3 p.m. “It intensified rapidly off the coast. Now it’s over Nova Scotia. It started over Nantucket and moved through very quickly. It brought strong winds and snow.”

Despite the heavy amount of snow and poor road conditions, it was a fairly light day for the Waterville Police Department, Sgt. Alden Weigelt said in the afternoon. Throughout the morning and afternoon, there were a few calls from drivers seeking assistance because they were stuck in the road; and there were reports of minor accidents, but nothing serious, according to Weigelt.

“The weather makes it difficult even for us to get around, but there hasn’t been anything major,” he said.

There also weren’t any serious traffic accidents on Monday morning in Augusta, according to members of the city’s Fire Department. But Lt. Tom Freeman warned that more people could hit the roads in the afternoon and evening.

By 4:30 p.m., emergency responders were reporting on the police scanner that several cars were getting stuck as they tried to enter Interstate 95.

Around Maine, the next few days should be clear but cold, Curtis said, with temperature possibly dropping below zero at night.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

 

Emily Higginbotham — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @EmilyHigg

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