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Autumn storm blasts Maine with wind and rain

Get ready, we're about to be slammed with wind and rain late tonight and Thursday morning.

MAINE, Maine — Sorry folks, the storm is still coming and it's going to be a powerful one.  Rain and wind will ramp up overnight, peak tomorrow morning and taper tomorrow afternoon. So, it's a relatively fast mover but it will be intense for a few hours.

You hear us talk about how track is critical with Winter storms, it determines where the rain-snow line will set-up. Well, it's just as important with this storm too. Only in this case, it's not snow, it's wind.

We've been calling this storm a nor'easter, but the track has shifted to the west opening up more of an easterly or perhaps even southeasterly fetch for a time along the coast. I've got to be honest, I don't like this development at all. 

Northeast winds are more of a common wind direction for storms here in Maine and our trees and limbs are somewhat used to it.  Also, a northeast wind travels over land so friction can slow gusts down a bit.

Credit: NCM
Credit: NCM

Any kind of southerly component isn't good at all. It exposes our coastline to uninhibited wind. With the storm track looking like it will go directly over or even west of Portland, the focus for the strongest winds will be from Casco Bay all the way through Penobscot Bay and Downeast Maine. The gust potential is high...60 mph, perhaps a bit more.  This is strong enough for power outages and the numbers may run pretty high. Nobody likes a power outage but if there is a silver lining, it's not like a Winter outage when temps are dangerously cold and pipes freeze.

Credit: NCM

RELATED: Officials urge Mainers to get ready for the season's first nor'easter

Credit: NCM

The window for outages is small, only about 3 or 4 hours, early tomorrow morning. The low-level jet will be screaming a couple thousand feet above ground level and wind will be mixing down in the heavy rain. The risk drops off significantly as the storm shifts inland and the heavy rain tapers off.  This will happen by mid-morning. Hopefully, the number of outages will be kept to a minimum. But the risk is certainly there for tens of thousands. It's best to prepare as if you're going to get one.

Stay with NEWS CENTER MAINE throughout the day for the very latest.

Todd - Follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

RELATED: Emera Maine prepares for Nor'easter