Steady snowfall began in Lincoln County Sunday night and is expected to continue, with blizzard conditions, until Monday at 7 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. A blizzard watch issued earlier by the NWS was upgraded to a blizzard warning on Sunday afternoon, as residents prepared for high winds, heavy snowfall, and the possibility of widespread power outages.
Snowfall totals are presently projected at 18-24 inches, accompanied by sustained northeasterly wind velocities of 25-35 mph and gusts to 55 mph, according to the NWS. The wind may cause drifting snow to pile up higher that the projected totals.
Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency Director Casey Stevens has urged residents to “prepare to be without utilities for at least 72 hours” and to stay safe at home and off the roads so repair crews and emergency responders can accomplish their tasks more efficiently.
Weather and road conditions will make power restoration a challenge for crews from Central Maine Power Co. until the storm subsides Monday evening. At that point, any crews in the field will be working in darkness.
The best possibility for heavy, wet snowfall – the kind that causes power outages – is forecast for late Sunday night and early Monday morning when temperatures rise close to the freezing mark, according to the NWS. After that, the temperature should drop into the mid-20s.
The morning hours of Monday are presently forecast to bring the heaviest snowfall and strongest winds during this event, according to the NWS. Coastal areas of Lincoln County are forecast to be pummeled by the highest wind velocities. Visibility may be reduced to less than a quarter-mile at times.
Severe weather should continue into the midday hours of Monday before slowly winding down as night falls, according to the NWS.
According to the NWS, “A blizzard warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout conditions, making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.”
The Lincoln County News will update this post.