Presque Isle Region

Wednesday storm could challenge New Year’s Day record

CARIBOU, Maine — Karen Hovey said Monday that her children are “really looking forward to New Year’s Eve.”


The Caribou resident said that her three young children have always enjoyed playing outside in the snow, no matter how cold it is.

“They love to go out and snowshoe and make snowballs and things,” she said. “But that rain we got on December 14 wiped out a lot of what we had on the ground. So they are hoping it gets replenished from this storm that is coming.”

Much of the state is under a winter storm watch or warning, with some parts of northern Maine expected to see between 8 to 12 inches.

It is highly unusual not to have snow on the ground in Maine on New Year’s Day, according to the National Weather Service in Caribou. Over the years, snow has been on the ground on that date 72 percent of the time.

The average snow depth is 3 inches, but the record amount is 39 inches, which was recorded in Caribou on Jan. 1, 1963.

The snowiest New Year’s Day was in 1961, when 8 inches of snow was observed.

In Caribou, where weather records began being kept by the NWS in Caribou in 1939, the warmest New Year’s Day was in 1945. The high temperature was 48 degrees. The lowest temperature, 32 degrees below zero, was recorded in 1972. 

Only twice has the high temperature failed to climb above zero.

The lowest high temperature on record in Caribou, 3 degrees below zero, was recorded in 1947.

Since weather records began being kept in Bangor in 1925, the warmest New Year’s Day was in 1966. The high temperature was 54 degrees. The lowest temperature observed in Bangor on New Year’s Day was 14 below zero in 1956.

The lowest high temperature ever observed was 7 degrees in 1957.

The normal high temperature for the day is 29 degrees, according to the weather service. The normal low is 9 degrees.

Thus far this month, there have been 21 days when at least a trace of snow has fallen, according to the NWS in Caribou. Most of that occurred on Dec. 3, when ten inches of snow fell Aroostook County.

The current snow depth in Caribou is four inches, while the snow depth in Bangor is 1 inch.

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