Alan Anderson clears snow Sunday along Front Street, near the Lockwood Hotel, in downtown Waterville. Anderson says he cleared about 4 inches of fresh snow by 10 a.m. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

AUGUSTA — As the first snow of 2024 blanketed central Maine on Sunday, public safety agencies across the region reported accidents and vehicles sliding off the road as snow fell throughout the day.

Shannon Moss, the public information officer for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said 13 crashes and six slide-offs were reported on Interstate 95, while seven crashes and 20 slide-offs were reported on the Maine Turnpike, which begins in Kittery and ends in Augusta.

Locally, dispatchers and police and fire officials reported minor accidents and slide-offs throughout central Maine, where the region remained under a winter storm warning Sunday afternoon as snow continued to fall.

This first major storm of the year brought something that has not been seen in several winters, according to Michael Ekster, chief forecaster for the National Weather Service in Gray.

While many winter storms in the past few years have been a mix of rain, sleet and snow, this storm has been all snow throughout the forecast area of New Hampshire and southern and central Maine, Ekster said.

“It’s reminds me of kind of the old days,” he said, “and and when I say ‘the old days,’ I mean five or 10 years ago.”


Travis Maloon, a shopkeeper at High Tide Low Tide Seafood at 226 Madison Ave. in Skowhegan, clears snow Sunday from the store’s parking lot. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

As predicted, parts of southern Maine bore the brunt of the storm, with midday snowfall totals of nearly a foot reported in parts of York County, while Augusta and surrounding communities received from 4 to 8 inches of snow, with more along the southernmost towns of central Maine.

“It’s light and fluffy and actually blowing around a bit,” Ekster said.

As snow was falling Sunday across Maine, forecasters said they were looking at the next storm, which is expected to arrive late Tuesday in central Maine.

That storm is expected be multifaceted, bringing snow and then rain that could be heavy for several hours and winds that could gust to 50 mph at midday Wednesday.

There could be flooding where the plowed snow from the weekend storm is blocking storm drains, Ekster said, and along the coast from an expected 3-foot storm surge at high tide Wednesday.

A pedestrian walks Sunday near heavy equipment being used to clear snow along Water Street in Skowhegan. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“This is one those El Niño winters, where the storms come in one after the other — every two or three days — right off the coast of California,” he said.

The storms can dump snow across the Midwest and bring severe weather across the South, before moving into New England.  That is expected to be the case this week, as a third storm is expected to arrive Friday night or Saturday, although Ekster said it is too soon to know what track that storm is likely to take.

“Right now,” he said, “we’re forecasting a similar scenario, where it starts as snow and turns to rain.”

Sunday’s snow was expected to wrap up by about 8 p.m., Ekster said, with warmer daytime temperatures moving into the region Monday.

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