A hat tip to my Twitter follower Chris Carleton for pointing out to me in recent rains that any salt / calcium on the roads has been washed away. With the snow and mixed precipitation on the way, this means the roads will be greasy for most areas Friday morning.
I'll give Chris a plug here... he owns Allspeed Bike & Ski in Portland and Carrabassett Valley. He's one of the many small businesses that have followed me from the get-go when this operation started as Western Maine Weather nearly 8 years ago. If you are looking for ski or bike gear, stop by and tell him Pine Tree Weather sent you there.
After we deal with this storm, we have another to watch for New Years Eve & Day time frame early next week.
Winter Weather Advisory for the interior
The areas shaded in blue are the main threat for not only snow, but for some freezing rain and perhaps a bit of sleet. What ice comes appears light in nature, and may knock snow totals down a bit. This will add to the grease threat for the roads. If your region is outside of the advisory area and away from the shoreline, expect "Body Shop Special" conditions. That is my term for slick roads that may surprise and cause accidents.
Give yourself plenty of time to get to where you need to go Friday.
Precipitation overspreads the region beginning the wee hours of Friday over western and southern areas, then over northern and eastern areas soon after daylight. Coastal areas that start off with snow appear to change over to rain in the morning over southern and MidCoast areas, around noon for DownEast. Snow changes over to freezing rain / sleet over interior areas around mid to late morning over western areas, and that moves northward through the afternoon. Much of the precipitation appears to have fallen over interior areas that any rain shower activity appears late and light.
A cold front slides through the region on Saturday, which appears to bring snow showers for western areas through the morning and winding down in the afternoon.
A bit of a tweak in snow amounts with less along the shorelines and a bit more for northern areas. The ski areas could see 6" at the higher elevations by the time it ends. What ice / sleet and or rain that comes on the taller mountains shouldn't affect snow totals all that much. This will be the beginning of the repair for what was lost in the rain event before Christmas.
Wind chill pours into the region
Once the cold front slides through Saturday afternoon, a gusty northwest wind will kick up and dump bitter cold air into the region. Wind chill values are likely to dip below zero over much of the interior by Saturday night. The breeze will continue into Sunday, gradually settling as high pressure settles in.
New Years Eve & Day a stormy one
As mentioned in my previous update, anyone with New Years Eve plans would be wise to arrive by early evening and plan on staying there overnight. Driving overnight is not suggested. I am concerned that this may bring more snow than mixed precipitation to the region due to the cold air that will be in place once the storm arrives Monday afternoon. I will track and advise on this over the weekend.
Outlook through New Years Day
For the latest official forecasts, bulletins and advisories, please check in with the National Weather Service in Gray for western and southern areas, or Caribou for northern and eastern parts of Maine.
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Eight year forecaster.