Still some wiggle room for accumulations
The frontal boundary that passed through the region Saturday night into Sunday has stalled offshore. Low pressure is expected to form along it and travel northeastward. Snow flakes begin over southern areas around daybreak Tuesday and continue through the day. Eastern Maine should be on alert for a slick evening commute as the storm passes through Nova Scotia. Coastal Washington County appears to be the "jackpot" area with as much as 5" possible in the Machias / Eastport region. Snow is expected to end from southwest to northeast late afternoon into early evening.
The position of the frontal boundary offshore holds the cards on how this will play out. This idea is presented to you to give you a rough idea on how this could end up. Any deviation to the west will easily put the southwest coast in the 1-3" range and could bump accumulations higher DownEast.
The next chance for snow appears Wednesday night as cold front approaches from the northwest. Guidance is hinting that this front may also stall offshore and spin up low pressure along it which could keep the chance for snow in the forecast from Thursday until late Friday. Stay tuned for more on that.
The process has begun for the relocation efforts for my family from Poland Spring to Kennebunk. We have an important week ahead as we prepare our current home for listing and have an inspection for our future dwelling scheduled midweek.
This will impact my weather coverage for the coming weeks. I will do my best to give you rough ideas on what to expect as storms come along. I may not be able to respond to messages, comments, or tweets as efficiently as I normally do. I would appreciate your patience as we transition.
Attention Facebook followers
As Facebook continues to fool around with its algorithms, it is important that you check your settings to receive timely updates from Pine Tree Weather. Make sure the page is both "Liked" and that you are "Following" with "See First" checked off in the drop down box. While I may not update as frequently due to the move, when I do update, chances are good that it will have come level of importance. This is the best way to make sure you don't miss out on anything.
Please stay tuned to the National Weather Service and local media for the latest forecast information.
Winds of change
As I mentioned on the Pine Tree Weather Facebook page, I am going to be involved with a project over the next few weeks. That project will be moving my family from Poland Spring to Kennebunk. We have been blessed to enjoy everything that western Maine has to offer for over 16 years. This decision was not easy. Given the circumstances, it is the right one to make.
My family has been through a lot in the past 14 months with the tragic losses of my wife's siblings along with health of other family members. As a result, I will have to cut back on weather operations until we get settled, which could take a while. I will do what I can as time permits. You can always check Facebook and Twitter for information if I do not post here.
In the meantime, I will still be watching and tracking the weather rather closely for obvious reasons, since I will be moving. I will pass along general ideas of information and things to watch out for. I may not be as in-depth, but you'll hear from me on potential impacts.
Once we do get settled in, I will return to more frequent updates. In the long run, this move will help free up time for me to do a much better job with Pine Tree Weather. I politely ask that you bear with me. Thank you.
A Monday/Tuesday surprise?
It would be wise to keep an eye on the weather forecast over the weekend for this event that could affect the region Monday into Tuesday. A frontal boundary will pass through the region Saturday night and then stall offshore. Low pressure forms along the front and travels northeastward for the first of the workweek.
While this chart shows a close shave with the storm, the trend has been west with model guidance. This has been rather typical this winter. Guidance has had a habit of showing offshore storms that gradually move closer and closer to the coast as time approaches. The chances of this being an all snow event are pretty good at the moment. Another arctic blast will be dumping into the Midwest as the western ridge re-establishes itself. That will supply the cold air. The moisture pump from the south appears firmly attached along the front.
We've seen this movie before.
Early February could be interesting
Speaking of movies we've seen before this winter, the signals for early February are looking similar to what was experienced around Christmas. The western ridge of mild air funnels cold air all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. A strong ridge over the Atlantic sets up Gulf moisture to travel along the deep trough, and the eastern seaboard is caught in the middle.
While this is strictly a signal for now, long term guidance has been hinting at this over the past couple of weeks. The idea has support. Actual timing of potential storms and impacts are too far out to know for now, but confidence is good that early February could be a stormy one. It would be wise to keep an eye on the energy supplies, and keep storm supplies well stocked. We have a lot of winter left to go.
A nasty day
All four food groups from the precipitation buffet line are on tap for the state for Tuesday. Winter storm warnings are posted for the Crown, winter weather advisories are on tap for rest of the state. Wind advisories are posted for Knox, coastal Waldo, coastal Hancock and coastal Washington counties.
Precipitation type will be all dependent upon what goes on in the atmosphere, along with temperature at the surface. Heavier precipitation arrives this afternoon. Most areas are likely to change to plain rain, with the possible exception of the tip of Aroostook. Most areas are expected to see freezing rain / drizzle, with some sleet mixed in. Areas of both freezing fog and mild fog are possible.
This is a complicated and complex forecast.
Heavy snow for northern areas
National Weather Service estimates of snowfall for the region through early Thursday show Aroostook County get crowned, literally, with as much as a foot of snow or more along the international border. This total also includes backside snow showers with the arrival of a cold front early Wednesday, which brings snow to the western mountains through the morning.
Ice on tap for most of the state
With the possible exception of DownEast coastal areas, all areas of the state will get ice accretion from freezing rain. The most accretion is likely to come from freezing drizzle and fog ahead of the heavier rain moving in through the morning into the afternoon.
A windy afternoon for much of the coast
As the warm air gains the upper hand, wind will come along with it. Southerly winds gusting in the 40-50 mph range are possible, with the stronger gusts for the Penobscot Bay region eastward to into the Bay of Fundy. By the time the wind arrives, warmer temperatures arrive and will melt off any ice. Spotty power outages are possible, but I do not expect any widespread issues.
Flood potential from ice jams a real concern
Estimates from the Weather Prediction Center indicate a 1-2" total precipitation outlook for this storm. Ice jams already in place from last week's warm up could see more another ice jam build up on what already exists. Eastern Maine is especially concerning for this event given the higher precipitation and warmer temperatures. Urban street flooding, hydroplaning on highways and byways are likely with the heavier showers in the afternoon into the evening.
Temperature roller coaster ride
Models have captured the idea of cold air damming very well over southwestern areas. That said, it may hang on a bit longer than what is suggested. High temperatures for Wednesday are likely to be set around midnight. As the cold front passes through the area in the morning, temperatures crash to the teens for most areas by Wednesday evening. This will freeze up any liquid that is around, and could cause patchy ice to form where it pools up.
For those traveling, allow for plenty of extra time and drive carefully.
Timeline for completion
Snow will continue to overspread most of the state Wednesday morning. Overnight guidance indicates that storm track will stay to the southeast. The system is also weaker, and does not organize in time to bring much more than a light, steady snow event. Steady snow will begin to end by early evening over the south and west, with the last of the snow showers clearing eastern areas just after midnight.
Snowfall map adjusted
With the track of the system more to the southeast, the coastal front appears to be a non-issue, which will make this an all snow event. Coastal Washington and Hancock Counties appear to receive the most from this event. This is just enough snow to slick the roads up and cause some travel issues for the coastal plain. Snowfall will affect both the morning and evening commutes. If travelling today, allow for extra time, give fellow drivers plenty of space to work with, reduce speeds and use caution.
Wind a non-issue
I haven't said anything about wind with this storm, because there was very little suggested. The shoreline areas may see gusts in the 10-20 mph, but it won't be until after the storm passes and intensifies well to the east before the wind picks up as we head into Thursday morning.
Temperatures stay below freezing
As the day progresses, all areas of the state are expected to see the mercury climb into the 20s. As the storm shifts to the east, temperatures will fall overnight with single digits to teens for the mountains and north, and teens to low 20s for the south and east.
After the storm leaves the region today, some weak upper level waves pass through which may bring snow showers and flurries for the mountains and north Thursday and Friday. Low pressure cuts across Quebec Friday night into Saturday, which may bring some light snow for the Crown to start the weekend. Temperatures warm to the 30s and 40s through the weekend. The next widespread precipitation event comes in the form of a long wave front that could bring mixed precipitation and/or rain to the region late Monday into Tuesday.
Stay safe as you travel today!
Much of the country affected with this system
Winter weather advisories and warnings stretch all the way to Texas in association with the long wave frontal boundary that is headed toward Maine. As of 5 AM Tuesday, just the southern and eastern areas of Maine are under winter weather advisory. It would be wise to stay in touch with the National Weather Service Gray (west and south) or National Weather Service Caribou (north and east) for any changes or additions to bulletins in regards to this event.
Forecast remains on track
The area can expect some areas of snow showers during the day, but the steadier snow holds off until evening. It will overspread most of the state by Wednesday morning. Snow tapers from southwest to northeast Wednesday night. Snow showers remain in the forecast for the region into Thursday.
The snowfall map has been tweaked a hair from the update yesterday. I expect a bit of a mix with rain along the immediate coast from Rockland to Eastport as a coastal front works in, which may cut accumulations down a bit, but I expect the low level warm air to be washed out fairly quickly as low pressure advances into the Bay of Fundy.
Warmer times ahead
After the storm passage, temperatures gradually begin to climb to well above normal temperatures by the weekend. The next widespread precipitation event appears to be in the form of an "inside runner" system which could bring rain to the state in the Monday / Tuesday time frame. The chill of winter returns by the middle part of next week.
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