Susan Lee pushes a load of snow Sunday from her driveway in Gardiner into an empty lot across the street. Snow fell Saturday night and Sunday morning across much of Maine, leaving residents a few inches or more to remove. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal file

AUGUSTA — The weather outside is forecast to be frightful on Wednesday, and whether it will be delightful by Christmas Day depends on where you live.

“It’s going to be a little bit nasty, to summarize it,” Greg Cornwell, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Gray, said Tuesday of the forecast for a midweek storm.

Freezing rain and drizzle were expected to move over central Maine on Wednesday, Cornwell said. With cold overnight temperatures also persisting, the rain that falls is expected to freeze on contact.

“Any untreated roads will be quite dangerous,” Cornwell said.

There’s a chance that precipitation on Wednesday will turn to snow across the north and western parts of central Maine. Cornwell said central Somerset County may see about 4 inches of snow, but the southern part of the county may see more freezing rain, resulting in less snow.

Kennebec County is likely to see mostly freezing rain but could get some snow during the day, he said.

The messy early winter forecast prompted school cancellation notices to go out Tuesday for Wednesday from several area school districts, including the Oakland-area district of Regional School Unit 18, the Maranacook area schools in the Readfield area and RSU 2, which encompasses Dresden, Farmingdale, Hallowell, Monmouth and Richmond. For those districts, the winter break would be starting a day early.

Other districts, like Winthrop, scheduled a remote learning day for Wednesday or had made no cancellation announcement.

Cornwell said there’s a good chance that whatever snow falls midweek will stick around for the holiday weekend. Overnight temperatures will be cold and while the sun will be out Thursday, clouds will return Friday, keeping daytime melting to a minimum.

“It will be chilly to help keep what snow you have around,” he said. “But once we get through (Wednesday), we’ll see what we have.”

The chances for a white Christmas are higher in Somerset County than in Kennebec County, he said.

Snow showers are predicted for Christmas Day on Saturday. Forecasts as of Tuesday evening couldn’t predict how much snow might fall, but periods of light snow were expected Christmas Eve night into Christmas Day for the region.

With the start of winter Tuesday, Cornwell said the weather will be seasonable throughout this week and into next but may warm up a bit.

“The Climate Prediction Center for the month of January has the chances leaning for above-normal temperatures for much of Maine and New England,” he said.

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