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Festive flakes and slick roads in Maine on Christmas

This is not going to be a huge snowstorm by any means, but the timing could have holiday travel impacts.

MAINE, USA — Merry Christmas!

"It's the most wonderful time of the year..." will be echoed by many as they spend time with family and open gifts.

The weather in northern and eastern Maine looks pretty good, by December standards.

The day will be mostly cloudy with just a few festive flurries. Accumulating snow is unlikely in these parts of Maine.

The story is a bit different for southern and western Maine, though.

Light snow and some wintry mix could make for slick travel conditions this afternoon and evening.

While the flakes will certainly be festive, it's important to remember that a lot of people are on the roads today. This means a couple inches of snow will have a bigger impact than normal.

As of 7 a.m., the big travel story in New England was the ongoing freezing rain. Icing was causing delays in other states, but Maine was still dry.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

Snow begins in southern Maine around 9 a.m.

Since there's so much dry air, it will take a little bit of time to actually get snow flakes to the ground, even if the radar shows activity earlier than this.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

The snow will be steady, though light, across southern Oxford county and into York and Cumberland counties. Androscoggin and Sagadahoc counties will likely see a period of steady snow through the morning, too.

Untreated surfaces and back roads will get slick since the snow should accumulate as soon as it starts falling.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

This steady snow continues right into the early afternoon.

By 2 o'clock, expect travel conditions in southern Maine to be pretty slick. Even some main roads might become snow covered if a heavier burst of snow gets mixed in.

As warm air tries to infiltrate, some mixing is expected across southern York county. It will mostly be sleet mixed with freezing rain, with the highest risk for icing from freezing rain located further west in New Hampshire.

Still, these factors could make travel slow.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

There's a break in the precip through the evening. While passing snow showers are possible, most areas will see things wrap up for a while.

Roads will still be slick since the cold air remains in place.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

A few snow showers are possible overnight Saturday and into Sunday. In fact, areas that saw mixing on Saturday will probably still end as some snow on Sunday morning.

Watch for black ice until the sun peaks out late Sunday morning.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

Again, totals aren't really all that impressive. That's not the big point with this storm, though.

Key Takeaways:

  • This is not a huge storm, but the mix of light icing and accumulating snow will make it slick
  • It's one of the busiest travel weeks of the year. Extra people will be out, and not everyone on the roads is familiar with winter driving.
  • Take it slow. Ensure you have plenty of time to get to your destinations, and keep an emergency kit in the car should you run into issues.

Have a safe holiday and a Merry Christmas!

- Mike Slifer, @MikeSliferWX

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