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Strong wind gusts expected Sunday night in Maine

A stout south wind will cause isolated to scattered power outages by Monday morning.

MAINE, USA — A dynamic storm is slated for Sunday evening in Maine and New Hampshire.

The biggest threat with this storm will be strong wind gusts. Gusts could approach 55 miles per hour along the coastline Downeast. Elsewhere, coastal sections will see gusts top out between 45 and 50 mph.

With a south or southeast wind direction and such strong wind gusts, power outages are becoming more likely by Monday morning.

The secondary threat with this storm will be a period of snow across northern and western sections of Maine and New Hampshire.

Accumulating snow is a possibility and could cause slick spots. Despite this, the wind is still a much bigger story.

Sunday Storm Setup

Sunday starts off fairly innocuous. There will be some clouds on the western horizon, but expect at least some sun to start the day.

RELATED: Click for Maine Local Weather Forecast

By the time sunset rolls around, the storm will be intensifying to our west. Showers are likely in western Maine by this point. There could be some mixing in the valleys and some snow along the higher peaks.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine
The storm approaches and strengthens on Sunday.

The storm will continue to strengthen as it moves closer to Maine.

Wild is the Wind

David Bowie put it best when describing the forecast for Sunday night and early Monday morning.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine
Strongest gusts will be Downeast.

I think the strongest gusts will be along the Midcoast and Downeast. Given the current model trends, a few gusts could approach 55 mph just after midnight on Monday morning. Otherwise, expect gusts to be near 50 mph.

The western coastline is likely to experience wind gusts between 40 and 45 mph. This will push inland into central Maine, with some strong gusts expected from Augusta to Bangor to Calais.

Note: the biggest piece of uncertainty is how far inland the 45 mph gusts will reach. Should the forecast change from here on out, it will be from moving that contour inland slightly. Be on alert for changes from Fryeburg to Lewiston and along I-95 between Augusta and Bangor.

Elsewhere in Maine and New Hampshire, the wind gusts will generally fall between 30 and 40 miles per hour.

Possible Power Problems

As with any forecast, there are pros and cons to the way the weather unfolds.

Pros: 

  • the trees have lost their leaves
  • less lawn furniture and decoration out

All the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray.

With bare trees, wind tends to be a bit less damaging since the wind can pass through more easily. I still think power outages are in the cards for Monday morning.

It also helps that Halloween decorations have been taken down and Christmas decorations have yet to be put up.

Cons:

  • wind direction
  • time of day

The wind direction is the biggest issue with this forecast. Trees in New England are used to strong gusts out of the northwest and northeast. 

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

When the wind has a southerly component to it, such as the forecast wind gusts on Sunday night, the trees are not as fit to withstand the stronger gusts.

I also mentioned the time of day because overnight storms tend to be underreported until the morning.

In other words, while impacts occur immediately, there is a lag time between reporting incidents and responding to them since most people are asleep.

Good news for the skiers

The onset of the storm should provide a bit of snow in the mountains and northern Maine.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

Totals aren't all that impressive, though. Most snow falls overnight and any flakes in central Maine will switch to rain.

The best chance at 3" or higher is along the high peaks and in the Allagash. Northern sections of Aroostook county could also see a few inches.

If you ski, you'll be happy about this. It should give the resorts a base to work off of and the impending cold will allow them to make some snow!

The Calm After the Storm

Well, kind of, at least.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

Monday will be a bit less dramatic as sunshine returns across southern Maine. Lingering flakes are possible in the mountains.

It remains blustery through the day, but wind gusts will not be nearly as stout as they will be Sunday night.

Stay informed with updated forecast information by following me on Twitter and Facebook. Make sure your devices are charged up Sunday night so you can get weather alerts if your power goes out. Check out our app below.

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