AUGUSTA — Winter will go out with a bang this year as a nor’easter is expected to bring high wind gusts and up to a foot of heavy, wet snow to central Maine starting Tuesday and going into Wednesday.

Snow is expected to start falling Tuesday morning between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. and continue falling until midday Wednesday, according to Jon Palmer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray.

The storm is also expected to bring high wind gusts to the Kennebec valley starting Tuesday afternoon and lasting into Wednesday, Palmer said, and that could lead to some power outages.

The forecast prompted Gov. Janet Mills to urge state residents to stay off the roads if possible during the storm. State offices will be closed Tuesday.

At the same time, municipal officials across the region announced Monday afternoon that parking bans will be in effect starting Tuesday morning.

Jon Breed, Central Maine Power Co. spokesman, said Monday the utility company was staging both line and tree-cutting crews across its service territory to be ready for potential outages.


“This winter season has brought Maine several storms of this nature, with fallen trees and vehicle accidents being a common cause for power outages,” Breed said in a statement issued Monday. “With strong winds and wet snow expected, we urge caution if you need to travel on Tuesday and Wednesday as conditions will be hazardous.”

The Maine Emergency Management Agency urged state residents to prepare for the storm impacts as winter storm watches across all but northern Maine were expected to be upgraded to winter storm warnings.

MEMA Director Peter Rogers said travelers are urged to take precautions like filling up gas tanks, having an emergency kit and giving plow trucks room on the roads.

Line workers from Central Maine Power Co. and arborists with Asplundh Tree Expert Co. remove an oak tree from power lines and restore power to residents on Edgemont Street in Waterville earlier this winter. CMP says it is prestaging crews and making other preparations to respond to power outages that are expected with a strong snowstorm moving into the region Tuesday. Wind gusts are expected to exceed 50 mph. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

In the event of power outages, Rogers said warming and charging centers operated by cities and towns could open up. Information about those centers can be found by dialing 211, or on MEMA’s website.

Nor’easters generally form in the southeastern or mid-Atlantic region of the United States, and as they move northeast, they tend to gain peak strength off the coast of New England and Canada’s Maritime provinces. They routinely bring heavy rain or snow and gale force winds to the region.

And they are not uncommon in mid-March.

In 2018, a mammoth nor’easter dumped between 1 and 2 feet of snow across the state; Augusta received about 1 foot. On that date in 2017, snow also blanketed the state.

Palmer said this year’s storm is expected bring more snow and wind to the coast along with minor coastal flooding.

Following the storm, daytime highs are expected in the 40s, he said. And when the next storm system reaches Maine by Friday, which is the first day of spring, it’s expected to bring mostly rain.

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