If a snowblower or sled is at the top of your Christmas list, you're in luck. It's the first Christmas Day snowstorm to hit Maine since 2002, when a foot of snow fell on Portland. Some parts of the state will see that much snow this Christmas Day.

Christmas Eve activities won't have to deal with the snow. It will hold off until after midnight.

Snow will move into southern and central Maine between 2 AM and 5 AM, arriving in northern Maine between 5 AM and 8 AM. It will be cold, so the snow will accumulate from the start.

The heart of the storm will be from mid-morning through early afternoon. At times, the snow will fall at the rate of 1 up to 2 inches per hour. Bursts of heavy snow will cause brief whiteout conditions in spots, making traveling during the first part of the day very difficult.

Snow will start to end in western Maine and the Portland area during the early afternoon. The snow will continue a while longer in the mountains and northern Maine, but even there, accumulating snow should be over by late afternoon into early evening.

There may be a brief mix with rain far Downeast, along coastal Hancock or Washington counties. For the rest of the state, this will be all snow, and it looks like a fluffy snow that will pile up. It will become windy during the afternoon, blowing and drifting the snow around. It's possible isolated power outages occur where ice is still lingering on the trees and wires.

Here's an idea of how the snow will pile up in Portland.

Our snow total map hasn't changed much. In total, a widespread 5 to 10 inches of snow is expected. That's a broader range than I like to use, but in this case I think it works; bands of snow may result in big differences in totals from town to town. The foothills, mountains and parts of northern Maine will receive over 10 inches of snow.


Merry Christmas and be safe if you're traveling.