Snow Moves in to Mess With Holiday Travel
November 22, 2011
AUGUSTA, MAINE -- As of noon time on Tuesday, November 22, 2011, State officials are monitoring a potentially significant storm which will impact the state late Tuesday evening into Wednesday. A winter storm warning has been issued for the southern, central, and western areas of the state. According to the National Weather Service, a “high impact” winter storm is bringing the potential for snow and sleet, which is expected to affect the holiday travel.
The NWS Gray has posted Winter Storm Warnings for a good portion of the state from late Tuesday evening and through the day on Wednesday as snowfall rates could be on the order of 1 to 3 inches per hour.
The NWS Caribou has posted a Winter Storm Watch for a good portion of the Northern and Downeast parts of the state Wednesday morning through the evening. They are calling for snow mixing with sleet and possibly rain along the coast line.
The National Weather Service has predicted the following snow fall totals:
- 1 to 4 inches of snow for the Downeast Coastal area
- 3 to 5 inches of snow for Southern Cumberland and York Coastal areas
- 5 to 8 inches of snow for parts of Northern Maine
- 6 to 12 inches of snow for Interior Cumberland and York Counties
- 8 to 12 inches of snow for the Western Mountains, Central, and Mid-Coast Maine
The precipitation is expected to taper off and end from west to east as Wednesday afternoon progresses. Dry weather is expected to return to all areas by Wednesday evening.
The timing of this storm system will affect one of the busiest travel days of the year. Therefore, you should plan your travel accordingly and be prepared to allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
The Maine Emergency Management Agency is offering a few tips for storm safety:
- Stay informed: Listen to your radio, television, or NOAA Weather Radio for weather reports and emergency information as the storm progresses. The final track of the storm is still uncertain, and conditions could change rapidly.
- Check on neighbors and friends who may need help weathering the storm.
- If you lose power, and use a generator, use it ONLY outdoors, never in a basement or attached garage. Carbon monoxide kills.
- Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.
If you are driving
- Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive, consider the following:
- Travel in the day, don’t travel alone, and keep others informed of your schedule.
- Stay on main roads; avoid back road shortcuts.
- Drive slowly and carefully. Maintain a safe distance behind other cars.
If you must be outdoors
- Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside.
- Dress in layers -- air gets trapped in between layers of clothes and helps keep you warm. If you are exercising outside (whether it's shoveling or splitting wood), you can take off a layer, and then put it back on when you start to cool down.
- Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly. Avoid cotton as your first layers, as it retains moisture; a synthetic that wicks away sweat works best next to the skin.
After the storm
- Clear snow away from all chimneys and vents, to prevent carbon monoxide buildup inside your house.
- Clear snow away from outside fuel storage tanks, and the filler pipes for your oil tank
- Offer to help neighbors and friends who might be in need of help shoveling out
Important phone numbers and web sites:
- Urgent emergency assistance: Dial 911
- Road conditions: Dial 511 or visit http://www.511maine.gov
- Report downed lines and power outages: Your electrical utility
- Other safety resources: Dial 211
- Safety and preparedness information, and links to weather forecasts: http://www.maineprepares.com