January 10

Freezing rain overnight; flood watch for Maine

Ice buildup is expected to be light as temperatures rise, but roads could be slick early Saturday.

From staff and news services

GRAY — The National Weather Service on Friday issued flood watches and freezing rain advisories for most of Maine.

Forecasters are also warning of the possibility of ice jams on some rivers this weekend.

Rain, beginning as freezing rain, was forecast to move into Maine late Friday night and continue until late Saturday or early Sunday, said Mike Ekster, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray.

Ekster said any ice build-up is expected to be light and he doesn’t expect it to be enough to bring down tree limbs or power lines. However, he said, ice on the roads could make travel hazardous Saturday morning. About an inch or two of rain is expected to fall Saturday.

Overnight lows were expected to be in the mid-20s, rising to about 30 by sunrise Saturday. Highs Saturday will be in the 40s.

One freezing rain advisory is in effect for coastal Cumberland, York and Waldo counties and interior Waldo, Knox, Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties and runs through 9 a.m. Saturday. Another, for much of northern Maine, is in effect from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday. Late-morning and afternoon temperatures should be warm enough to end the threat of freezing rain.

The flood watches are primarily due to concerns that ice jams might form on some Maine rivers. National Weather Service meteorologist Margaret Curtis said most of Maine’s rivers are frozen and a sudden warm-up could cause the ice to break up, creating the potential for unexpected damming and localized flooding.

Sunday and Monday are expected to be dry, with highs in the 30s to around 40, Ekster said. A storm could move into the area Tuesday, he said, but forecasters aren’t sure yet if it will track offshore or inland through New York state.

If it goes off the coast, it could bring moderate snow to Maine, he said, but the inland track would put the state on the warm side of the storm and result in rain.

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