December 2, 2013

Snow follows cold November, but warmer winter forecast in Maine

Long-term weather prediction calls for a warmer than usual winter.

By Jesse Scardina
Staff Writer

The first significant snowfall of the year followed a colder than normal November, but the long-term prediction still calls for a warmer than usual winter.

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SLIP SLIDING: Emergency workers prepare to transport an injured person after a pickup truck collided with a car in the southbound lane of Interstate 95 in Waterville on Monday.

Staff photo by David Leaming

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WINTER WOES: Don Gardner clears his driveway in Sidney as motorist Lydia Williams, in background, waits for a tow truck after her car slid off the snow-covered West River Road on Monday.

Staff photo by David Leaming

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A Sunday snowstorm dropped up to five inches onto some places in central Maine, but warmer weather is expected throughout the week and any precipitation is likely to be rain, according to Chris Kimball, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Gray.

Although no serious accidents were reported in Skowhegan, the roads remained slick Monday morning, according to Greg Dore, Skowhegan Highway Department road commissioner.

Wet, sticky snow and cold temperatures quickly glazed the roads and made them hazardous.

“It got a little slippery because the ground was frozen,” Dore said.

Because the storm brought only two to three inches of snow to Skowhegan, Dore called it a “good storm.”

“It was really easy to take care of and get back into the season,” he said.

Reported snowfall totals were varied Monday morning. About six inches was reported in Sidney,while in Winslow, five inches was reported, in Wayne a little more than four inches and Mount Vernon three and a half inches, according to the National Weather Service.

Many people reported that their cars slid off the road, according to Maine State Police, but only a few minor injuries were reported. About two dozen people reported sliding off the road in Somerset County, while about a dozen people reported doing the same in Kennebec County, according to county dispatches.

Cars continued to slide and accidents were reported throughout the day in the Kennebec Valley region. Over a dozen accidents were reported in Augusta throughout Monday

Despite a cold November, when the average temperature of 35.6 degrees was 2.3 degrees below the norm, the rest of winter is expected to be warmer than usual, according to the Climate Prediction Center of the National Weather Service. Higher temperatures don’t equal less snowfall though, according to Kimball.

“You could have a cold winter with not a lot of snow or a warm winter with a lot of snow,” Kimball said, adding that factors such as moisture and pressure systems play a role in determining snowfall. “It’s about the right factors at the right time. We’ll start seeing snow more often.”

Even with a cold November, heating oil prices in Maine were down compared to last year, with oil costing $3.53 per gallon last month compared to $3.66 per gallon a year ago, according to the Governor’s Energy Office.

The cold also contributed to classes being canceled at Waterville Junior High School Monday. Classes were canceled about 9 a.m. after a heating malfunction left the building cold, according to a message on the school’s website. Heat was restored in the afternoon, according to an automated message from the school.

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239jscardina@centralmaine.comTwitter: @jessescardina
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Additional Photos

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BYE BYE SNOW: Louie Barnes clears his driveway of several inches of snow in Waterville on Monday.

Staff photo by David Leaming


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