Snow plows are lined up for salt at the South Portland Public Works facility on Highland Avenue as snow begins to fall Monday night. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Like a messy house guest, Tuesday’s snowstorm is likely to hang around longer than expected and make a nuisance of itself before leaving.

Derek Schroeter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, said Monday night that the heaviest snow would fall overnight into Tuesday morning, but even after the snow begins to taper, the storm won’t be over.

By midday, the storm will begin to produce a mix of sleet, freezing drizzle and occasional bursts of heavy snow across the state, Schroeter said. And when that mix ends, the storm will revert to snow and continue to accumulate. In the mountains and as far north as Caribou, an additional 3 to 6 inches of snow could fall Tuesday night.

The storm will likely linger into the hours around daybreak Wednesday before it finally ends.

“It’s going to be a prolonged, dreary mix of precipitation,” Schroeter predicted. The good news is that the texture of the snow accumulation from the first round of snow should be dry and powdery.

People who have to shovel their driveways or sidewalks may want to do so Tuesday morning, before the stickier, heavier precipitation begins to fall. By the time the storm ends, most areas of the state will have received 8 to 12 inches of snow.

Mainers were not caught off guard by the arrival of Monday’s nor’easter. Forecasters had been warning about its power for days as the storm swept across the nation, wreaking havoc in places like New York City. When the snow started to fall in York around 5 p.m., it set off a flurry of storm preparations and cancellations Monday afternoon. The Maine Turnpike Authority lowered the speed limit to 45 mph on Interstate 95 between New Hampshire and Kennebunk at about 5:15 p.m.

The National Weather Service said wind gusts could reach up to 40 mph along the coast Tuesday, and that power outages were possible.

Pedestrians cross Franklin Street in Portland late Monday as the snow begins to fall. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Central Maine Power Co. issued a statement to customers Monday afternoon saying it had positioned 300 lineworkers and 200 tree workers across its service area.

“The combination of strong winds and snow can often lead to broken trees and limbs falling on power lines, ultimately resulting in outages,” said Kerri Therriault, CMP’s director of electric operations. “We have made sure to prepare ahead of time as we continue to monitor the forecast. As the storm rolls in, we will be ready to respond – first prioritizing clearing any downed wires, debris and roads.”

Portland, Westbrook and Scarborough were among several communities that announced parking bans, while Freeport, Scarborough, Yarmouth and other school districts canceled both remote learning and in-person classes Tuesday. Public schools in Portland, Westbrook and South Portland announced that all classes Tuesday will be conducted remotely.

The Maine Legislature announced that all public hearings and work sessions scheduled for Tuesday have been postponed. All state offices are closed Tuesday as well.

Portland issued a citywide parking ban from 10 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday, and again from 10 p.m. Tuesday until 6 a.m. Wednesday. Any vehicle left on city streets during the ban can be towed at the owner’s expense. Portland City Hall will be closed Tuesday.

“Because of this, it will be crucial for residents to have cars off the street and in designated parking ban lots in order for plow crews to keep streets clear,” city spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said in a news release.

Gov. Janet Mills urged motorists to stay off the roads Tuesday.

Steve Boissonneault of Saco loads snow shovels into his car at Dupuis Hardware in Biddeford on Monday. A nor’easter was expected to drop more than a foot of snow in parts of Maine. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

“With up to a foot of snow and mixed precipitation, we are expecting hazardous travel conditions, so I urge all Maine people to stay off the roads whenever possible and to exercise caution,” Mills said.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency also urged motorists to stay home on Tuesday. MEMA said that falling and blowing snow will cause poor visibility and minor ice accumulation that could make roadways slick.

Several flights at the Portland International Jetport were canceled Monday evening, and the jetport warned travelers to check in with their airline before heading to the jetport to catch a flight.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: