A few inches of powder greeted central Mainers on Friday morning, while schools were closed and municipal parking bans were put into place.

According to the National Weather Service, some areas were expected to see as much as 6 to 8 inches of snowfall by the time flakes stopped falling Friday. The temperature Friday in Augusta was expected to hover around 28 or 29 degrees with wind gusts reaching up to 30 mph at times.

Sean Goodwin, director of the Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency, said he visited a few towns this morning without problems on the roads. About 3 to 4 inches had fallen, he said about 12:30 p.m. Friday, and expected a few more inches before the storm’s end that afternoon.

A winter storm warning was in effect until about 1 p.m. in many areas; in Augusta, that warning extended to 4 p.m.

John Barrows, who runs a plowing and shoveling business, was out early Friday clearing snow in front of the Olde Federal Building on Water Street in Augusta. He said he had expected to wake up to more snow than the three-and-a-half inches he estimated to have fallen already.

“(The snow is) light and fluffy,” Barrows said. “I was expecting at least 6 inches.

“The first snowstorm, you’d like to have a little more to play with,” he said, laughing.

The Capital Judicial Center was closed in Augusta, along with the University of Maine at Augusta and Augusta city schools. Waterville schools and Regional School Units 2, 9, 12 and 54 were also closed.

The Augusta Police Department posted a video on its Facebook page early Friday morning urging residents to clean off their cars before their commute.

“Only one car off the side of the road. It wasn’t a crash; it was just someone slid off the side.” Sgt. Christian Behr said in the video. “We’re asking everyone to take time and drive slow this morning.”

Farmington police Deputy Chief Shane Cote said Friday’s snowstorm, which dropped about 4 inches on the town, had created few problems. He added that Tuesday’s snowfall — totaling 7 inches — created more havoc for commuters.

“Tuesday was miserable,” he said. “Today it’s been fairly smooth, I will say.”

Mike Smith, director of the Somerset County Emergency Management Agency, said 22 accidents had been reported in Somerset County, where 1.5 to 4 inches had fallen in places. He said the day had been relatively quiet, noting that on Tuesday 99 accident reports came in. He said school and municipal closures had people staying off the roads, thereby reducing call totals.

“The majority of (calls that) have come in is accidents and medical calls, but those are standard,” Smith said. “No reports of trees and wires down yet. We’re in pretty good shape.”

Smith said totals should fit within the 4-to-6-inch range that the weather service predicted.

Tim Hardy, director of the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency, echoed Smith’s assessment of the day. He said there the 4 inches of snow in Farmington was nearly half of what was reported to fall.

“I’ve got a radio right here in my office and it’s been relatively quiet,” he said. “Usually, the first storm or two, usually people have to re-learn how to drive.”

In contrast to all the closings, the Sugarloaf ski resort announced that it is open for the first time this season, with 14 trails and 95 acres available for skiers.

The weather service does not track the average date of first snow as an official statistic, according to the Portland Press Herald, but it has been keeping track informally and counts Nov. 25 as the average date for southern Maine.

The storm was expect to move out by Friday night and usher in temperature of around 40 degrees Saturday. The weather service forecasts a chance of snow on Sunday.

“We’re urging people to use plenty of time and plenty of caution. Caution is key, especially since this is the first snowstorm of the season.” Ted Talbot, spokesman for the Maine Department of Transportation, told the Press Herald. “There is a lot of traffic out today. That begs for extra time and extra space between vehicles.”

Sam Shepherd — 621-5666

[email protected]

Twitter: @SamShepME

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