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Nor’easter on track to dump up to two feet of snow Saturday night, Sunday

CARIBOU, Maine — When Ruth Christian of Houlton first heard about the potential for a nor’easter this weekend, she hoped that the storm track would veer from its predicted path.

When she arose Friday, however, and checked the forecast from the National Weather Service in Caribou, her hopes were dashed.

“I guess everyone is going to do a lot of snow clean up on Monday,” she acknowledged, after seeing that meteorologists were forecasting up to 24 inches of snow for Aroostook County.

The weather service upgraded its earlier storm watch to a storm warning at about 4 p.m. Friday with total snow accumulations of 16 to 24 inches expected from Millinocket to Van Buren late Saturday night into early Monday afternoon.

Further west in the St. John Valley, including Madawaska and Fort Kent, are expected to see 13-17 inches, but wind gusts of as high as 35 miles per hour are expected to make the temperatures feel as low as 33 below zero Friday night into Saturday afternoon.

Further south and along the coast, including Bangor and Bar Harbor, snow totals are expected in the 15-22 inch range, followed by ice accumulations of up to a quarter of an inch.

The rest of the state also is expected to see a foot or more of snow.

Mal Walker, meteorologist at the NWS in Caribou, said that the storm is being caused by a low pressure system moving out of the Ohio valley.  

Power outages and tree damage are likely due to the ice, and travel could be “nearly impossible.” Patches of blowing snow are expected to reduce visibility, and wind chills that low could cause frostbite to exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes, the weather service warns.

Thus far, Walker said 32.6 inches of snow had fallen over Bangor through Thursday, compared with Caribou where 78 inches had fallen.

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