February 14

Storm is over for Augusta area, but another’s on the way

Forecasters are eying more heavy weather for Saturday night as the cleanup continues from Thursday’s storm.

By Craig Crosby ccrosby@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Just as Mainers have thrown the last shovel of snow to clean up after Thursday’s storm, forecasters say another is making its way up the coast.

click image to enlarge

CLEARING THE WAY: A large snowblower works to clean up from the recent snow storm on Friday at the Augusta State Airport.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

Meteorologist Eric Schwibs of the National Weather Service said Friday morning that the final forecast will not be complete until computer models were updated later in the day, but he said a storm was expected to arrive Saturday afternoon and last much of the overnight. This one, unlike the last, will likely be too far off the coast to bring heavy snow to the capital area.

“Unless it tracks west it’s not a big deal,” Schwibs said.

A weather service forecast posted Friday afternoon predicted four to eight inches of snow in the Augusta and Waterville area.

Thursday’s storm continued to drop snow, sleet and freezing rain into Friday morning. The mix made it difficult for area commuters, accounting for dozens of crashes that kept emergency responders busy for most of the day. The crashes were nearly all slideoffs and fender benders, but at least one of those accidents, involving a car and a tractor-trailer on U.S. Route 202 in Winthrop, was more serious. At least one person was hurt in that crash.

The wet heavy snow piled up several inches around the region. According to an online database kept by the National Weather Service, nine inches of snow had fell in Mount Vernon overnight and into Friday. Hallowell and Randolph had more than seven inches, and East Winthrop eight inches.

Public and private snow removal crews continued to stay busy Friday morning as snow continued to fall through nearly noon.

With the storm complete, forecasters turned their eyes to the arrival of the next storm. The National Weather Service was calling for snow to begin falling in the Augusta area Saturday afternoon.

Snow was expected to fall overnight Saturday before coming to an end early Sunday morning. How much snow will pile up remained to be seen, but Schwibs said the heaviest snow will fall in eastern Maine around Hancock and Washington counties. The eastern track of the storm will allow colder air to stay in place so there are no worries about freezing rain or sleet.

“It will be just plain snow with this,” Schwibs said.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642 ccrosby@centralmaine.com

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