Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 17

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Precipitation of All Types to Arrive Weds. Through Thurs.
By Greg Latimer

Updated March 12 at 7:30 a.m. -- Winter Storm Warning timing moved back to begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, although some precipitation forecast to arrive by late morning; estimated accumulation totals decreased to 3 to 6 inches of snowfall with one quarter inch of ice accretion possible; storm arrives as rain and snow then switches to freezing rain after dark then back to snowfall early Thursday and through the day; Winter Storm Warning ends Thursday at noon.

Lincoln County residents will endure an ever-changing mix of precipitation types beginning Wednesday morning and continuing through Thursday midday, according to the National Weather Service.

The event is forecast to begin with snow or rain in the late morning to mid day hours of Wednesday transitioning into heavy to moderate snowfall by mid afternoon, and then changing again to a mix of sleet, snow and rain for the evening hours, according to the NWS.

As night falls, the precipitation is forecast by the NWS to change over to all snow, but other forecasters are calling for a continued mix. Some forecasts are calling for a period freezing to arrive in the early morning hours of Thursday before the storm moves out, most likely in the mid day hours.

The NWS forecast totals include 3 to 6 inches of snow and sleet and the possibility of ice accretion in some areas. Inland areas of Lincoln County should see more snowfall while coastal areas and peninsulas should see more rain and ice.

Wind may be a factor in this event, with sustained velocities from the northeast of 10 to 25 mph and gusts up to 35 mph, according to the NWS. "The snow that falls will likely be wet and heavy, and along with sleet and any freezing rain could make for power outage issues," the NWS bulletin advises.

Central Maine Power Company is getting ready for the event. Utility trucks are fueled and equipped, and CMP personnel are holding pre-storm planning sessions to discuss staffing levels and finalize storm-response plans.

"We've put our storm response plan into motion, and we're watching the forecast closely," said Gail Rice, spokesperson for Central Maine Power. "The wet snow forecast for Thursday could build up on tree limbs, power lines, and roadways. Combined with gusty winds, this could result in power interruptions and difficult travel, so we're getting crews, equipment, and materials in place to respond."

The utility is coordinating its storm preparation efforts with other utilities in the North Atlantic Mutual Assistance Group, or NAMAG. It is also lining up contract crews to assist local crews if the storm causes widespread damage. CMP is also keeping the Maine Emergency Management Agency apprised on preparation efforts.

Driving conditions for the morning commute on Wednesday should be clear, but motorists returning on the evening commute may face challenging weather. Conditions for the Thursday morning commute will depend on how well the snowplows have been able to keep up with the weather, and how much storm may be left. Present forecasts vary on when the snow will end on Thursday.

The NWS has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Lincoln County beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday morning and continuing until Thursday at noon.

The Lincoln County News will continue to follow the progress of this event and post any additional information here as soon as it is obtained.

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