A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Midcoast Maine through Wednesday morning.

An area of low pressure moving east out of the Midwestern states merged with a secondary low pressure system off the coast of the Southeastern United States Monday night and into Tuesday and is tracking up the Eastern Seaboard Tuesday and into Wednesday. This storm will take on characteristics of a classic nor'easter as it rapidly intensifies moving northeast through the Gulf of Maine with heavy snowfall rates and strong northeast wind.

Light snow began across the Midcoast during the midday hours on Tuesday, It began to pick up in intensity during the afternoon and will continue into the early night when the heaviest snowfall rates are likely to be seen with periods of 2 to 4 inches per hour possible. Blizzard conditions (as defined as visibility less than 1/4 mile for at least 3 hours) are possible along the coast during this period as northeast winds steadily increase.

Moderate snow will continue into the early nighttime hours and then start to lighten some after midnight before tapering off into early Wednesday morning. Scattered snow showers will be possible through the day Wednesday mainly over northern and eastern parts of Maine.

Snow will generally be light and fluffy with this storm for interior sections but will become wet and sticky along the coast for a period during the late evening and early night as temperatures near or nudge above the freezing mark. Some mix of sleet or rain may be possible during this period, mainly for coastal Downeast Maine.

If the storm takes a track closer to the coast, more mixing would be possible, which would result in lower snow totals. Currently, snow totals are likely to range from 12 to 16 inches across much of the Midcoast, with locally higher amounts possible, and a band of 16 to 22 inches across interior and western sections of Maine and lesser amounts of 8 to 12 inches for coastal Downeast Maine.

Wind will be strong during this storm, mainly from the early afternoon Tuesday until just after midnight, and may result in scattered power outages. Northeast winds will be sustained 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph. Stronger winds will be likely for the outlying islands and areas of higher elevation.

Air temperatures are expected to range from the low 20s to low 30s during this storm with wind chill values holding in the teens. The strong wind has prompted a Storm Warning for coastal waters, with gusts up to 55 kts possible with seas building up to 20 feet by Tuesday night for the northern Gulf of Maine and 6 feet for Penobscot Bay.

The remainder of the week and into next weekend will be tranquil with a mix of sun and clouds and highs in the 20s and 30s with lows in the teens and 20s. There is a chance for another snowstorm during the late weekend and early next week. Check back for updates.