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Spring nor'easter brings strong wind, rain, and snow to Maine

While the snow forecast is making headlines, the bigger threat is going to be from strong wind gusts.
Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

MAINE, USA — And the spring nor'easter begins...now!

Rain has been developing steadily through the morning for most as snow falls in the high peaks.

Judging by the reports from New York and southern New England, this storm is certainly packing a punch.

Wind gusts are already getting stronger, and it seems likely that the strongest gusts will happen through the morning into the early afternoon.

Tuesday will be the most active weather day this week. Much nicer weather returns as we get closer to the weekend.

For Tuesday, though, grab the umbrellas and rain boots. If you're reading this in northern New Hampshire or western Maine, you might want to consider the snow gear, too.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

The heaviest rain will fall across southern Maine before Tuesday morning's newscasts wrap up.

Heavy rain and strong wind gusts are going to happen at the same time. The rain itself will actually be the thing that helps bring strong wind gusts down to the surface.

As gusts pick up, some splash-over and coastal erosion are likely.

Snow will also be falling across the high peaks. The cutoff for snow is roughly going to be along Route 2, though a couple of higher peaks south of this line will still see some heavy snow.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

The storm moves east fairly quickly, shifting the strong wind gusts toward the Penobscot Bay and areas Downeast.

The heaviest rain will likely fall through the mid-morning and into the early afternoon. Since the storm slows down a bit, higher rain totals are expected Downeast.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

Conditions improve rapidly by the middle of the afternoon.

As the "dry slot" on the storm develops, we end up squarely in the middle of it.

This will bring some sunshine through, just in time for sunset.

Expect winds to stay gusty, but not nearly as strong as they will be in the morning and early afternoon.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

I cut back snow totals a bit, due mainly to warmer air pushing a bit further north.

This will cut down on where the heaviest snow can actually fall. I do expect it to still be quite elevation-dependent, with some of the highest peaks getting over 6" total.

Some areas outside of the contours may see some flakes fall. Overall, the risk here will be low, and any flakes that fall will be short-lived.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

Rain will also be an issue Tuesday. Since all of this rain falls in such a short period of time, rivers may briefly swell before falling back down to lower levels.

The highest totals are expected along the coastline, especially Downeast.

Other nuisance flooding, like standing water in areas with poor drainage, are expected as well.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

This is probably the biggest thing to watch today.

Gusts will only be strong for 6-8 hours, but they will actually strengthen as the storm moves east.

I expect the strongest gusts along the Midcoast and Downeast coastline.

Gusts could approach, or even exceed, the 50-60 mph range.

The mountains will also see strong gusts, generally between 45 and 50 mph.

Anywhere in these areas will have the highest risk for some power outages.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

High tides through the early afternoon Tuesday will also bring a risk for some coastal flooding and an increased risk of splash-over. Minor coastal inundation in trouble spots will also be possible.

Waves will approach 15 feet in height, leading to a dramatic display of the storm's power.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

On the bright side, the remainder of the week is looking much quieter.

Have a plan to get weather information in case you lose power today.

Don't forget that you can track the progression of showers on the NEWS CENTER Maine interactive radar. Download the NEWS CENTER Maine app for more weather info, too.

Last, but certainly not least, you can use the NEAR ME section of our app to send in storm pictures and videos. Just make sure that if you are doing this, you are doing so safely!

Enjoy the sunshine later this week.

- Mike Slifer, @MikeSliferWX

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