Strong, gusty winds and a period of heavy wet snow continue to be the biggest concerns from the winter storm headed for the Seacoast in the early hours on Monday.

The impact of the storm depends on where you are. Snow begins to fall hard in all areas in the pre-dawn hours Monday, according to forecaster Chris Kimble at the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine. The storm won't last long, and most of the precipitation should be over by noon.

"The snow will be coming down pretty heavy. 1-3 inches per hour is what we're expecting. With those sort of snowfall rates it's harder to keep up with the road clearing operations. It will probably be a more slippery ride than normal," Kimble told Seacoast Current.

Away from the coast there's a Winter Storm Warning for Strafford County, where 5-9 inches of snow is expected to fall will fall before turning over to rain. Rockingham County is under a Winter Weather Advisory, where 4-6 inches of snow will fall.

"Snow is expected to transition to rain as warmer air gets pulled in off the ocean. Along with that warmer air will be some stronger wind gusts, so the areas right along the coast where that warmer air arrives quicker will have stronger wind gusts,"Kimble said.

Expected wind gusts from Monday's storm 1/17/22
Expected wind gusts from Monday's storm 1/17/22 (NWS)
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A High Wind Warning is in effect for the immediate coastal areas of New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts, with 25-35 mph winds gusting to 55-65 mph Monday morning. Winds will still be strong away from the coast, but with gusts only as high as 40 mph. according to Kimble.

There could also be minor to moderate coastal flooding during the Monday morning high tide.

Power outage preparation
Power outage preparation (NWS)
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Strong Winds Could Lead to Power Outages

Unitil spokesman Alec O'Meara said the utility is ready to deal with trees and tree branches that could bring down power lines.

"In light of the ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19, Unitil proactively secured additional third party crews to bolster resources. Unitil will continue to monitor the forecast and is prepared to escalate its response further if conditions warrant doing so," O'Meara said.

Temperatures will moderate to the 30s and 40s on Monday, but will drop to the 20s Monday night and stay there on Tuesday, accompanied by sunny skies and gusty west winds.

COVID-19 Testing Centers Closed Again

The storm will keep the state's COVID-19 testing sites, including the Mall at Fox Run in Newington, closed on Monday out of concern for the health and safety of staff and patients, according to the to Department of Health and Human Services. They are expected to reopen on Tuesday at 9 a.m.

The mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinic will be open at Newfields Town Hall on Monday from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Dover will put a citywide parking ban into effect at 10 p.m. Sunday night until Monday at 6 a.m. It will be in effect in the downtown area from 1 a.m. - 6 a.m. Monday morning.

While in effect, no parking is permitted on city streets, sidewalks, or adjacent public parking areas. While the ban is in effect, parking is also prohibited in the Third Street and Belknap parking lots, as well as the public parking spaces in the Orchard Street lot.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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