There's an inevitable truth to every winter in Maine: there will be snow. But how often it snows and how much snow there will be is an always-evolving answer. There have been plenty of warm winters in Maine and several bad winters with a seemingly endless amount of storms.

man with a snow blowing machine working in winter day
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As winter closes in, here's a snapshot of how the snow adds up in some major places throughout Maine, courtesy of How Much Will It Snow and Current Results. The following data shows the average day where the first snowfall hits, the amount of snowstorms (1-5 inches) happen in each city or town, as well as how major snowstorms (6+ inches) occur in each setting.


 

Portland

Lobster traps on a commercial pier during a snowstorm in Maine
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First Snowfall Date: November 27

Snowstorms Per Winter: 16

Major Snowstorms Per Winter: 5

For most people who live in and around Portland, it probably feels like winter keeps showing up a little bit later each year. There's some truth to that, as the average date for the first official snowfall keeps creeping later on the calendar each year. 50 years ago, Portland's first snowfall date averaged out to be November 15.


 

Augusta

Thomas-john Veilleux
Thomas-john Veilleux
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First Snowfall Date: November 21

Snowstorms Per Winter: 20

Major Snowstorms Per Winter: 6

Central Maine's weather doesn't vary a whole lot from that of major cities in southern Maine. Augusta sees a handful of additional snow events that Portland doesn't, and is privy to an additional major snow event or two throughout the coldest months of the year.


 

Rangeley

rangeley lake by south bog
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First Snowfall Date: October 25

Snowstorms Per Winter: 33

Major Snowstorms Per Winter: 6

Skiers and boarders are probably surprised to find that major snow events don't happen any more often in the mountains of Maine than they do along the coast or in central parts of the state. The key for the mountains of Rangeley is the consistency in which it snows, dropping fresh powder of trails regularly from December through March.


 

Presque Isle

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Google Maps
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First Snowfall Date: November 10

Snowstorms Per Winter: 28

Major Snowstorms Per Winter: 8

While the mountains get the headlines when it comes to snow in Maine, 'the County' takes the brunt of the pain. Presque Isle's first snowfall date happens well before the winter solstice, and their last snowfall date happens well after the spring solstice. That leads to a long, grueling winter for northern Maine that features a ton of snowstorms and the most major snowstorms of any region in the state.


 

Bangor

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ThinkStock
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Date of First Snowfall: November 20

Snowstorms Per Winter: 20

Major Snowstorms Per Winter: 6

Bangor's data is a bit misleading because over the past 4 consecutive winters, the town's averaged only 15 storms per winter, 4 major snowstorms, and 48 inches total snow. Will winter rebound in Bangor, or will the averages continue to trend down?


 

Biddeford

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Photo Italia LLC
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Date of First Snowfall: December 1

Snowstorms Per Winter: 15

Major Snowstorms Per Winter: 5

Despite being only 20 miles south of Portland, Biddeford has the luxury of less snowstorms and a shorter winter. Biddeford's first snowfall average has now leaked into December thanks to no snow on November 8 out of the last 10 years. Not only that, but Biddeford's average annual snowfall has plummeted in recent years. In 2016/2017, Biddeford saw 91 total inches of snow. Combining the past two winters totals, Biddeford has seen only 67 inches of snow.


 

Rumford

Facebook via Town of Rumford
Facebook via Town of Rumford
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Date of First Snowfall: November 18

Snowstorms Per Winter: 22

Major Snowstorms Per Winter: 6

Rumford is an interesting case study for Maine and snow, because it typically snows a lot in Rumford without a ton of accumulation. While the average amount of days where snow falls hasn't slowed down over the last 4 years, the amount of snow that falls has. From 2015-2018, Rumford averaged more than 105 inches of snow per winter. From 2019-2022, Rumford has averaged only 58 inches of snow.


 

Machias

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Google Maps
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Date of First Snowfall: November 28

Snowstorms Per Winter: 15

Major Snowstorms Per Winter: 3

A common misconception for native Mainers is to believe that eastern Maine gets slammed by snow throughout the winter. The data from Machias tells a much different story. The first snowfall typically happens later than in Portland, the frequency of light storms is about the same as most places along the coast, and Machias rarely gets major snowstorms at all. In fact, for the entire winter of 2020/2021, Machias saw only 25 inches of total snow.


 

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