Here we go. The highly anticipated storm is almost here. While snow will be heavy and intense, don't overlook the wind. It's an important aspect of this storm.

Blizzard Warnings have been issued for the entire coastline, eastern Maine and Aroostook County. The rest of the state is under a Winter Storm Warning.

Let's start with the timeline:

Snow begins in southern and central Maine between 6 AM and 9 AM Thursday; spreading father north between 9 AM and noon. We're not in the business of predicting school closures, but this looks like a case where many will opt to close for the day.

While the morning commute may be doable in most places, conditions will quickly deteriorate on the roads from late morning into lunchtime.

The heaviest snow will fall from midday into the early evening. Strong wind gusts will coincide with it, creating blizzard conditions.

Bands of heavy snow will develop, and within these bands, snowfall rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour will occur.

If an evening commute still exists, it looks difficult.

The heaviest snow will shift east during the evening. Accumulation should end in western Maine around 8 PM, ending farther east around midnight.

Power outages are a concern. While it won't be anything like the wind storm back in October, some outages are going to occur. Have a plan, just in case. Please, ventilate alternate heating sources well. Run generators outside. Know where your local shelter is too.

The strongest winds will be along the coast and in high elevations, where gusts over 50 MPH are expected. Midcoast and Downeast Maine are most susceptible to peak gusts around 60 MPH.

These gusts will blow and drift the snow, making it tough to measure, and a pain to clean up.

Forecast snow totals haven't changed a whole lot: Double digit numbers for many. The highest amounts are expected near the coast and in eastern Maine. Some towns could approach a foot and a half, where the heaviest bands set up.

One last note: Coastal flooding. North to northeasterly winds will start to ramp up around the time of the midday Thursday high tide. Combined with high astronomical tides, minor to possibly moderate coastal flooding may occur along the southwest coast and seacoast New Hampshire. Beach erosion and splashover is expected.

Follow our updates on-air and online through the storm. Send us your snow totals and storm pictures, too.

Ryan

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