A major winter storm is expected to hit northern and central Maine late Thursday, dumping up to a foot of snow by the time it winds down Friday.

The National Weather Service in Caribou has posted a Winter Storm Warning from 2 pm.Thursday until 2 p.m Friday from Lincoln north to the Saint John Valley.

Forecasters say the Nor'easter will dump 9 to 18 inches of snow on the region, along with possible ice accumulations. Snowfall rates of 1-2 inches an hour are possible late Thursday night into early Friday morning.

Heavy snow and wind gusts up to 35 mph are expected to lead to blowing and drifting snow throughout the day friday. Expect travel to become difficult and dangerous.

The storm will push snowfall totals at Caribou to around 5 feet so far this season.

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