After suffering through several days of extreme cold, most of Maine will begin to warm up a bit on Friday. But first the state will have to contend with a fast moving snowstorm that could drop up to 2 inches of snow over most of southern Maine.

Forecasters were calling for a little more snow on Friday in Down East Maine, with an estimated 3-4 inches of snow expected to fall over coastal Hancock County and interior portions of Washington County. The National Weather Service’s Caribou office warned that wind gusts could reach up to 45 mph, creating hazardous driving conditions.

James Brown, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, said the snowstorm will sweep across the state early Friday morning and be gone by midmorning.

The good news, Brown said, is that most of the state will see temperatures climbing to 30 degrees on Friday – a lot warmer than the subzero temperatures that gripped the state Thursday.

AAA Northern New England, which is based in Portland, responded to roughly 7,000 calls for service – about 800 calls an hour – on Thursday, spokesman Pat Moody said. Those calls originated in Maine, New Hamphire and Vermont, with the majority of calls related to dead batteries.

“The vast majority of the calls were battery related such as jump starts and battery replacements,” Moody said. “When temperatures drop below zero, car batteries will lose about 60 percent of their starting power.”

Another problem for drivers on Thursday was frozen fuel lines. The remedy for frozen lines, Moody said, is to put your car in a garage – if you have one. AAA recommends that drivers keep their gas tank at least half full during cold spells to prevent condensation from building in tanks.

The National Weather Service said Portland’s low temperature of 9 degrees below zero on Thursday occurred at 7:44 a.m. The record low for Jan. 8 was 16 degrees below zero in 1942, Brown said. The temperature in Portland rose to 13 degrees at 8 p.m. Thursday.

The National Weather Service’s low temperature report for the date says that inland areas were colder Thursday than towns located along the coast.

The low temperature in Bridgton and Naples at 7 a.m. Thursday was 20 degrees below zero. The town of Rangeley in northwestern Maine reported a low of 25 degrees below zero at 7:25 a.m.

Brunswick, Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth, reported low temperatures of 15 degrees below zero, 10 degrees below zero, and 13 degrees below zero, respectively.

Brown said it will remain cold through the weekend and until the early part of next week with temperatures reaching only the mid- to upper-20s.

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