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Winter weather advisory in effect

CARIBOU, Maine — A winter weather advisory is once again in effect from midnight to noon Thursday for Aroostook County, as well as parts of Penobscot, Piscataquis and Washington counties, meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Caribou said Wednesday.

Light freezing rain and ice are expected to make for some nasty driving conditions, according to Meteorologist Chris Norcross.

“There is still a great deal of uncertainty in the models,” he said. “So we don’t know yet how much we are going to get. We can only speculate.”

Norcross said that the ice will result in very slippery conditions on sidewalks, roads and bridges,

including during the morning commute on Thursday. A light glaze is expected to accumulate, he added.

Most of the uncertainty lies around the expected temperatures, according to Norcross. He said that if the temperatures stay warmer, more rain would be expected. If temperatures fall below freezing, he expected to see more ice and sleet.

“The models are showing us that the temperatures could be anywhere between the mid-20s to the upper 30s,” he added.

Periods of freezing rain will cause travel difficulties, and drivers should be prepared for slick roads.  

Cold air is expected to arrive back in the state on Friday evening, moving into the St. John Valley from Canada and then southward. The rain is expected to shift over to freezing rain and sleet from Bangor north by Saturday morning and then to continue throughout the day and into the overnight hours. In Aroostook County, the precipitation is expected to turn into snow Saturday afternoon.

“We are selling a lot of roof rakes,” store clerk Carrie Chisholm said Wednesday afternoon at the S.W. Collins store in Fort Kent. Chisholm said the store also has been selling a lot snow scoops and salt.

Workers from the store also took time to clear snow off the store and warehouse roofs ahead of the anticipated wintry mix of rain and freezing rain expected to hit the area Thursday night into Friday.  

Local contractor Denis Cyr was removing snow from a client’s home and garage on Wednesday. While the fluffy snow was relatively easy to remove with his roof rake, Cyr said he knows it’s important to get the snow off before any rain arrives.

The light snow from recent storms does drift in high winds, however. Cyr said one side of a roof may have as much as three feet, while the other will have far less.

The latest precipitation comes on the heels of significant snowfall and blizzard conditions that moved through the state last week.

Janice Cote of Houlton said that she was “surprised” to see all of this snow so early after “a couple of years of relatively light snow for this area.”

“My children love it, but I don’t,” she said Wednesday. “They have gotten out of school a few times, so they are happy. But the snow banks are already high and that makes it harder for drivers to see over them.”

Writer Don Eno of the Fiddlehead Focus and Bill Trotter of the Bangor Daily News contributed to this report.

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