A messy storm lashed Maine Thursday with heavy rain, snow and gusty winds, knocking out power to homes and businesses, and prompting flood advisories and local school closings. Heavy rain fell along the coast, while up to a foot of snow is expected in the north and mountains.
Hunter Tubbs, of the National Weather Service, says the direction of the storm's winds brought warm air off the ocean, causing the precipitation to fall as rain along the coast and in southern Maine.
"If the system would have tracked a little further to the east, or a little bit further offshore even, it would have brought down more northerly winds," Tubbs says, "which would have been, presumably, colder, which would have allowed for a snowier solution close to the coast."
The National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood advisory, in effect until 3:00 p.m., for several Maine counties, including York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and Waldo, and for Rockingham County in New Hampshire.
But in areas where the storm system meets the mountains, Tubbs says, people can expect to see snow accumulations of between 8 and 12 inches by the time the storm ends.
The storm has knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses. At just after 3:15 p.m., Central Maine Power was reporting nearly 8,880 outages, down from a high of 19,560 earlier. In Emera Maine's territory farther north, about 2,290 outages have been reported so far.
Several schools in Maine were delayed or closed for the day.
Updated Feb. 27, 2020 at 3:18 p.m. ET.