Snow squalls and whiteouts could make driving dangerous tonight

CARIBOU, Maine — A strong cold front could make traveling dangerous in some parts of the state late this afternoon into this evening, according to the National Weather Service in Caribou.

Mark Bloomer, meteorologist for the NWS in Caribou, said Friday that a strong cold front will cross over northwest and northeast Aroostook County, northern Somerset County and northern Piscataquis County starting at approximately 3 p.m., and will likely be accompanied by snow showers and gusty snow squalls.

He warned that drivers should be prepared for local whiteouts and near zero visibility, creating extremely dangerous driving conditions.

“We won’t see much in the way of accumulation,” he said. “We might see an inch of snow, but it will cause roads to rapidly become snow-covered and very slick.”

Bloomer said that the snow line will likely affect Presque Isle north to the St. John Valley. Also included in the warning is Baxter State Park, Churchill Dam, Billy-Jack Depot, Chamberlain Lake and Mount Katahdin.

The most likely time for heavier snow squalls will be from 3 until 8 p.m. Motorists should be prepared for rapidly changing conditions during that time period.

Snow already shuttered schools and businesses this week when the first winter storm of the season struck Tuesday.

According to updated snow total from the weather service Madawaska received the most snow at 9.5 inches, while St. Agatha got 9 inches. New Sweden received 8 inches, and Caribou received 6 inches. Houlton received 4 inches, while Amity received 2.2 inches.

In Penobscot County, Levant received 3 inches, while Bangor received 1.9 inches. In Piscataquis County, Milo picked up 2.5 inches. Brookton, in Washington County, received 2.4 inches.