Monday, May 16, 2016

7.5 inches of snowfall Monday breaks record in northern Maine

Julia Bayly | BDN
Few things say spring in northern Maine like fresh snow on new buds. Close to 2 inches of snow had fallen by early Monday morning in the higher elevations of the St. John Valley.
CARIBOU, Maine — Jessica Michaud of Presque Isle thought spring had arrived in Aroostook County, and left the bright, bountiful spread of forget-me-nots she bought at a local store outside Sunday evening.

She awoke Monday to find them nearly covered in snow.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” she said. “Just when you think you’ve beaten old man winter, he reminds you that you’re living in Maine.”

A late spring storm dropped up to 7 inches in the Aroostook County town of Perham on Monday, the most on record for the area this late in the season since 1939, according to the National Weather Service Caribou.

Mark Bloomer, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Caribou, said the storm originated when a strong low pressure system in the east pulled cold air down through Hudson Bay, across Quebec and down into Maine.

Bloomer said the former Loring Air Force Base recorded 7 inches of snow, while Mapleton and Presque Isle each received 6 inches. Caribou registered 4.5 inches.

“Most other places [in northern Aroostook] received between 5 and 6 inches of snow,” Bloomer said.

The cold precipitation caused for some slick roads in the area, but no major crashes were reported.

The snow tapered off and ended by early afternoon. While temperatures up north were expected to keep rising through the week, a frost advisory was issued for southwestern Maine in the Bethel and Fryeburg areas.

The advisory, in effect from 2 to 8 a.m. Tuesday, warned of temperatures in the low 30s and suggested sensitive outdoor plants be covered to avoid freezing.

Beyond that, Bloomer said the forecast called for warmer weather ahead.

“A warming trend is on the way, and that will bring temperatures near 70,” he said.


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