The National Weather Service in Gray has issued a blizzard warning for much of central and southern Maine, until 5 p.m. Monday.

This has been issued due to the combination of heavy snow and strong winds expected from late morning into the afternoon.

Bands of snow are producing snowfall rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour in spots.

Snow will start to come to an end in western Maine and the Greater Portland area during the early afternoon. Heavier snow will shift into the mountains, northern and Downeast Maine. Even there, snow will come to an end by late afternoon or early evening.

Blizzard conditions are snow (falling, blowing or drifting), visibility below a quarter of a mile, and winds over 35 mph. In an official blizzard, these conditions need to be met for at least three hours.

On the back side of the storm, it will be windy with significant blowing and drifting snow especially near the coast. Isolated power outages are possible.

A blizzard warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout conditions, making travel dangerous.