Cold front passes through
The frontal boundary responsible for the coastal rain and the light ice over the interior will pass through the region today. This HRRR idea of predictive radar does a good job overall on timing, but misses the idea of upslope snow showers forming in the mountains Sunday afternoon into the evening. Those snow showers may bring an inch of snow in spots of the higher elevations into the wee hours of Monday.
Wind Advisories posted
Upon passage of the front, west/northwest wind begin to pick up in the afternoon. Gusts in the 40-50 mph range are expected through Sunday night. This may cause spotty power outages in areas. Given the conditions of the trees from the impacts of the Late October Gale, any strong wind event is likely to cause some level of electrical service loss.
With the wind will come the wind chill. Temperatures are expected to drop from their morning highs in the afternoon. This may cause isolated areas of patchy ice to form from the rain in areas where it is stubborn to dry up.
Wind gusts in the 20-30 mph range are expected for Monday and appear to drop off steadily through the day. What breeze is left Monday evening is expected to drop by Tuesday morning for most areas away from the mountains and north.
A southerly flow returns Tuesday, bumping temperatures up a bit. Another cold front approaches the region on Wednesday.
Wednesday appears damp
The only real weather obstacle to clear before Thanksgiving will be the passage of this front. The trough is on track to pass through on Wednesday. Moisture riding up along the front could enhance shower activity for the coast somewhat. The mountains and north may see some snow showers and flurries Wednesday afternoon and evening.
A weak front passes through the region Thursday evening which may cause some snow showers and flurries for the mountains and north. Black Friday appears to be a mainly sunny day statewide. The weekend is a toss up for now, and too far out to nail down what is possible there.
Southern Ridge Slowly Erodes
The region has been more or less stuck in an west to east zonal flow pattern for months. I've talked about it on Facebook and on my Bangor Daily News blog ad nauseam. This is why the area has dealt with drought and a cooler than normal summer. Over time, the strong anomalous ridge over the south is being chiseled away at. It will take more time for that to go away. When that goes away, the weather patterns will change and become more active.
Since a lot of weather sources show you the usual fancy surface maps and satellite images, I like to go beyond that. That is all well and nice, but that doesn't show you the full story. Since I am on a journey of learning, I believe in teaching you as I go along. When you flip on the TV or check your other weather source besides me, you have a better perspective on how the atmosphere works.
We'll look at the week from 20,000 feet above.
Monday's coastal nuisance showers
As I have mentioned, the zonal flow and the ridge have been consistent. This has kept the bulk of the moisture to the south. Here we go again. A shortwave trough dips down from Canada. It has a bit of upper level energy with it, but this overall is a dry frontal passage for Maine. When that energy hits ocean moisture, it taps into it. As we have seen for most of the summer, it's too little, too late.
There is enough of an inversion here (not shown) where it will kick up a few light rain/snow showers for the coast. This will likely have very little accumulation and does not appear to cause any problems. After this passes, the area is dry with seasonable temperatures through mid-week.
Thursday's system slightly juicier
The ridge over the southwest weakens a bit and opens the door for a trough to drop down from Canada. Moisture from the south remains suppressed. Cold air funnels in with the trough. The trough is neutrally tilted, meaning north to south. What ever moisture is gets will come from the Great Lakes and the Mid-Atlantic. By the time it passes through the region, it may bring scattered rain or snow showers, but not much else. It will bring a brief period of cold with it, but the ridge to the west hurries back in to bring back seasonal normal temperatures to round out the week.
Next Weekend Is A Bit More Interesting
I mentioned in a previous post on this website that we will have to keep an eye out for next weekend. This still rings true. Important to note, as I said at the time, it's a signal. There is a bit more behind that signal now. While the ridge and moisture pieces of the pattern stay consistent, what is different is the negative tilt on the trough. Cold air is going to win this battle with the ridge long term. Here is yet another signal of that. It is with these negatively tilted troughs where the concern for NorEasters enter consideration. While Saturday appears to be a fair day for now, there is potential for storm development that may impact Sunday into Monday. But before the prediction of storm, it's important to look eastward.
Looking at the European ensemble idea over a week out at the same level as the upper level energy charts I have shown in this post, there are two key elements missing over the Atlantic. No ridge near the area, and really no traffic around to interfere with anything. Sure, there is the strong ridge over Greenland, but that for now appears too far north to play a big role in this. Low pressure could form along the axis of the negative energy and swing a storm northeast into the region, which could bring some snow. Without any friction from a blocking ridge to the east, what storm forms in this idea isn't going to be a strong one. The storm that is possible to form won't get any help from the south. What will be dependent on accumulations is how cold the air gets (the fluff factor) and how organized the system gets before it reaches the area. Those are questions that are way too early to get answers for. I will be watching this all week and will update.
If you are looking for some sort of a clue when snow may become an issue, yours truly put snow tires on his vehicle on Saturday. If you haven't yet, it would be a good idea to move that up on the priority list of things to do this week.
Overnight showers will freeze
Rain and snow showers are expected to clear out of the state by around mid-morning. Since there isn't a lot of rain here, I am not expecting any widespread ice issues, but there could be some, especially in eastern areas.
Behind the front, the wind from the west/northwest begins to crank up. Wind chill temperatures fall all day to near 0° north to the low teens south.
The absolute worst case scenario for wind speed has not changed much. At this point a safe estimate on wind speed is gusts generally will top out in the 30-40 mph range, with higher gusts possible in the higher elevations of the north country.
The upper level low driving this wind and cold into the region may strengthen as it tilts northeast. The worst of the gusty winds appear over by Friday evening. It appears to be a very slow steady drop into Saturday night.
Bundle up as you head out, and be prepared for some spotty power outages.
Could be icy in spots Friday
Now that you know what the potential is for wind from my previous update, I will turn attention to the snow and rain part of this. If you see rain, you need to think ICE. Once the front passes and the wind shifts, anything liquid is going to freeze.
The HRRR model idea here shows some juiced up bands of snow, sleet and rain. Southerly wind will help warm things up for southern areas. The cut off will be roughly around Greenville, Millinocket, Houlton areas northward which appear to be in the snow/sleet mix.
As you can see, this isn't a strong precipitation event. It boils down to what moisture it can grab off the Great Lakes and outflow brought up from the south.
In areas where it rains, do be concerned for icing. The wind may dry up most of it since there isn't that much of it. But a little ice on roadways could be too much ice. That could happen fast, so use caution if you see rain and/or see darken roadways that could be in the process or have frozen over.
There is a bit more snow in the map posted by the Weather Prediction Center, but not much. It may dust the roads in southern areas and DownEast, but that is about it. I still think the ski hills do alright with this one as I think this is underdone for the higher elevations.
Adding the combination of total water in all precipitation that falls, there isn't a whole lot here. Since the air coming is in cold, that will fluff the snow up a bit.
Just be cautious for some areas of potential ice as you travel around Friday afternoon. It won't be a nightmare to get around, but taking a safe approach is the right approach.
Wind Advisory Statewide
The National Weather Service in Gray has joined the Caribou office and has issued a wind advisory for the entire state of Maine. The rooftop of Maine is under winter weather advisory. You can check my earlier post for thoughts on that.
Two differing ideas on wind
The ideas are slightly different. The difference is important to know. In regards to the wind, the outcome of this storm is going to be decided at 20,000 feet above sea level. If wind comes in higher, you will know why. If it comes on on target or slightly lower, you will know why, also.
This is the NAM-WRF short range model idea for peak wind gusts at 7 PM Friday. Wind will be streaming in from the west-northwest at 10-20 mph with gusts in the 30-45 mph range, depending on region.
This is the European model for the same time, at the same model data collection point of 12z/7 AM Thursday morning.. It varies to roughly 5-10 mph faster than its American counterpart. Important to note, this is the absolute maximum gust speed the model is predicting. You may have seen something similar to this floating around social media leading up to the Late October Gale. You need to know that it was too high, overall. That said, it does have potential.
What happens at the surface is going to be dictated on what happens 20,000 feet above us.
Back to the NAM idea...
The NAM idea is thinking the upper level energy will be slightly weaker. The height falls are a bit wider. Height falls are like looking at isobars on mean sea level pressure chart. The same rules apply: the tighter the isobars, the stronger the wind. In this case, the tighter the height falls, the stronger the wind.
For the air to be as cold as it is coming in, it doesn't happen without height falls.
The European idea shows a slightly stronger upper level low, and consequently, slightly tighter heights to go along with it. To the naked eye, it may not appear like much. Given the strength of the upper low, however, it's a bigger deal.
This will decide the final outcome of how strong the wind gets. A weaker upper low will bring lower wind speed. A stronger upper low, higher wind speed.
To give this perspective, if it were not for the Late October Gale that knocked roughly half of the power grid offline in the state, this wind may not cause as much concern. Trees grow to withstand the brunt of northwest, north, and northeast wind. This front is as concern because the strong southeasterly winds did a number on the branches and root systems. Wind storms are really nothing new for the area this time of year. The odd wind direction from the Gale is a rarity.
I am not predicting a repeat event of the recent big storm. What I am saying is there is a threat for at least some power outages. How many outages will be indicative of how strong the wind gets, hence why I have explained this so you can better understand why.
You can bet that any storms that happen this winter with wind gusts greater than 35 mph will likely have power outage impacts as a result of the Gale. We're only getting started here. This could be a long winter.
And about that long winter idea...
I don't normally post a lot of long range operational or deterministic model ideas because they are flawed as they reach the tail end of their runs. I am sure you have seen the 240 hour or 384 hour epic snow dump charts and science fiction of big storms that never come to fruition. This is a bit different.
The GEFS ensembles were showing this idea recently and now the European has picked up on it. Two strong blocking ridges, and a component of well below normal cold stuck in between. This is a recipe for snow storms, and Nor'Easters at that. This does not mean that it will happen, but let's say for now that this has potential. It's a week and a half out.
For now, it's a signal, and that is all it is.
Stay tuned for more on this in the coming days.
The wind will be a concern for the region beginning Friday morning through early Saturday morning. The National Weather Service in Caribou has issued a wind advisory for northern and eastern Maine. For now, it scheduled to go into effect at 5 AM and expire at 8 PM Friday, but that may be extended as peak gusts appear to occur in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Gusts around 50 mph are possible. Spotty power outages are very likely.
A wind advisory may also be issued for the western mountains and foothills.
The wind will slowly diminish during the day on Saturday, A light breeze appears to continue into Sunday.
The wind chill indices will be another issue with this system. Higher elevations are likely to flirt with the 0° mark, single digits for the foothills and Great North Woods, with teens elsewhere.
A Winter Weather Advisory has been posted for the rooftop of the state from 1 AM to 10 AM Friday. Snow showers and squalls along with the wind are likely to cause brief whiteout conditions, and may make driving hazardous at times across the entire state. After the initial first wave Friday morning, a trailing front may kick up more snow showers and squalls Friday night, primarily in the north and mountains.
The 7-Day Outlook has been updated as of Thursday morning. Click on that tab for the information there.
While the region has almost recovered fully from power outages incurred by Late October Gale, more wind is on the way for Friday. As an arctic front sweeps through the region providing light snow for the state, the wind cranks up on the backside of the front from the northwest. Gusts in the 30-40 mph range appear to be a dominant feature for much of the state, with higher elevations of the mountains seeing higher speeds.
There is the potential for some power outages given the higher speeds and weakened trees. Given the nature of how the Late October Gale impacted the region, any moderate to strong wind event will have those concerns in the coming months.
With the wind comes the wind chill. While the thermometer may read in the 20s and 30s, actual feel temperatures appear to be half that. It will be a day to bundle up.
The latest snowfall idea from WPC is posted on the precip outlook page. This does not appear to be much of an inconvenience in that regard. What snow falls will mainly be confined away from the coast. Northern Maine may need to get the plows out, but this snow will blow around. It may cause brief whiteout conditions in heavier squalls. Other than that, it appears to be nuisance more than anything.
Another busy day ahead for me, I will get the 7-Day Outlook page updated as soon as I can. The Maps page and precip outlook page has been updated.
Power Recovery Update
As of 4:20 PM Monday, Central Maine Power reported 5,353 without power from the Late October Gale. Emera Maine reported outage were down in eastern areas to 253. I have seen several gripes about cable TV and internet issues. Unfortunately, those companies do not release information on outages or restoration times.
High pressure in control midweek
It appears pretty quiet through early Thursday for the state as high pressure takes over the region. A bit of a concern that low pressure over Tennessee may bring some light snow showers or flurries to far southern areas late Tuesday night / early Wednesday, but otherwise it appears dry with varying amounts of sun Tuesday and mainly clear for Wednesday.
Light snow possible late week
An area of low pressure drags an arctic frontal boundary into the region late Thursday into Friday. A long with it comes a chance for snow showers and flurries.
The European model is in disagreement on the system entering the Pacific northwest having any effect on the region at this point for late weekend in today's 12z run, but the GFS and Canadian GGEM think it is possible. I am going with a chance for snow for now on Monday. More on that as the week unfolds.
A bit early in the ballgame for accumulations, but it does appear that the mountains and north will see an inch or so from this frontal passage.
Looking at upper level energy, this causes me a bit of concern. Guidance has trickled up moisture output with this system over the past couple of days. If the energy can tap into the Great Lakes by dropping a bit further south on the sweep, it may turn into a bit more than what the models are selling at this point. For now, a dusting to an inch of snow is possible for the north country, and stay tuned.
The first true arctic high of the season
The arctic is cooling down. There are five areas of abnormally cool air swirling around the top end of the planet right now, with three blocking ridges. The ridge to the north and east of North America is one that will have to be watched. That ridge is partially responsible for cool summer the region experienced. When that weakens, the chances for heavier snow for Maine rises. It sets up a perfect blocking pattern that forces any developing storms to the south closer to the coast. For now, the pattern is back into the west to east zonal flow, which was the reason as to why the pattern was not only abnormally cool, but dry for most of the summer.
After the arctic front slides through, the northwest wind picks up delivering a sharp bite to the air the region has not had in months. The wind appears to settle roughly Saturday afternoon. Plan on bundling up for any outdoor related activity Friday morning through the weekend.
Please click on the tab for the latest 7-Day Outlook for the forecast in your region.
I am still tinkering with pages on the site. The "Maps" page will contain the surface forecasts from the Weather Prediction Center and the Ocean Prediction Center. I have added a "Precip Outlook" page that will contain both liquid and granular outlooks from the Weather Prediction Center. I will update each page daily, unless I am away.
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Power Outage Update
Central Maine Power reported 9,058 still in the dark from Monday. Emera Maine has just about completed restoration and are indicating 549 outages. If you are one of them, please comment on the Facebook page on this post and let us know how you are doing and any information to when you may have power again.
Forecast remains on track
No real changes to the post made earlier today on the forecast. Humidity is building as the warm front has entered the state. Areas of drizzle and fog are likely to form in addition to shower activity increasing over much of the state.
It will be a warm night for early November, with overnight lows in the 40s to low 50s.
Cold Front Arrives For Monday
Steadier rain sweeps west to east during the day. As I mentioned earlier, I cannot rule out the chance for an embedded thunderstorm as colder, more seasonable air tracks in behind the front. Not concerned about any flooding issues, maybe an isolated chance for some localized flash flooding at worst for the mountains and north.
For you folks who dread cooler air, enjoy Monday. This appears to be as warm as it gets for the week as it steadily goes down hill beginning in the afternoon.
With the frontal passage comes a southwest breeze ahead of it, and a northwest breeze behind it. Gusts range generally in the 20 mile an hour range, with the anemometer tipping 30 in the higher elevations and north.
Snow showers and flurries are possible on the backside of the front for the mountains, foothills and north. I am not expecting any accumulation.
Temperatures fall to around 30° in north and west, to around 40° south and east by Tuesday morning.
November returns Tuesday
High pressure moves eastward for Tuesday. Any early morning flurries in the north should clear out early. Temperatures are forecast within a degree or two of seasonal average, around 40° for the mountains and north to around 50° south and east.
Outlook through the weekend
Taking a look at Augusta through the eyes of the European operational model shows the steady downhill trend quite well. Next chance for some precipitation appears to be on Friday as an arctic front works into the region. Temperatures for Saturday appear to fall well below normal. I am thinking at this point the highs for the weekend may be a bit warm according to this idea. I will be tracking a potential rain/snow event that could impact the region next week.
The complete 7-Day Outlook through Sunday is posted on that page.
Thanks for your support!
Latest on the recovery
Restoration of power from the Late October Gale continues. Central Maine Power reported outages are down to 15,261 and Emera Maine indicated 2,316 remaining in the dark as of 7 AM Sunday. Recovery efforts will hit a bit of a snag weather wise through Monday before drier weather returns for most of the week.
Some areas see light snow / mix Sunday morning
Futurecast radar idea supplied by the HRRR model shows a band of light to moderate snow passing through the Great North Woods into the crown of the state this morning. Accumulations appear light to a coating at best. A warm front enters the state to bring off and on showers, drizzle, and areas of fog. Heavier, steadier rain with a chance of a thunderstorm holds off until Monday.
Wind concerns minimal
The wind idea certainly isn't as bad as the storm last week. This isn't to say it won't be gusty at times. It does not appear to be as much of a concern as it appeared in the Friday and Saturday model suites.
Taking a look at Rockland, the low level jet stream can be seen in the 40-50 kt range dipping down to around 800 feet above the surface.
Further north in Greenville, the wind appears to range in the 30 kt range at its strongest near the 1,000 foot level.
At the tip of the crown of the state in Frenchville, 40-50 kts are possible at around 1,000 feet.
It is the idea of the NAM model of which these profiles are from that the mixing layer (buffer) appears to hold and keep the higher end wind aloft.
All in all, the wind may gust in the 20-30 mph range. Higher elevations may hit the 30-40 mph plateau. Power outages, if any, are likely to be minimal. As I mentioned in yesterday's discussion, the trees are likely stressed from the recent high wind event. The good news is the wind direction is more from the south than southeast.
As the cold front approaches on Monday, a few thunderstorms are possible. Given the proximity of the low level jet, downdraft wind may cause some isolated areas of wind damage.
Astronomical tides may cause splash-over in areas
The moon is full right now, and at one of the closer points to the Earth all year. As a result, tides are running high. With the wind driving the ocean water toward the shorelines, it may cause some minor issues.
Camp Ellis is always a concern. Tides that normally run in the 8-8½ range without moon influence are roughly 3 feet higher in this astronomical phase. Splash-over is possible there. Low lying areas along the southwest shorelines may see some very minor flooding.
Way Down East, Eastport, which normally runs a tide at 18½ feet during off moon peak, is roughly 4 feet higher. As with the southwest coast, any low lying areas from the MidCoast on up to New Brunswick may see some splash-over and very minor flooding issues.
It would be wise for all areas along the coast to monitor for statements from the National Weather Service.
Precipitation Accumulation Outlook
As I have mentioned previously, the best chance for any amount of snow accumulation will be for the mountains on up into northern Maine, and confined to the higher elevations. I do not expect any travel issues. This chart takes into consideration of any snowfall for Sunday, and backside flurries that may develop behind the front Monday night into Tuesday morning.
The latest rainfall forecast from the Weather Prediction Center indicates the bulk of the rainfall over the High Peaks Region on up through the crown. This is a general idea. In the case of thunderstorms, locally higher amounts are possible. While the rivers are running high from the recent rainfall from last weekend, flooding does not appear to be an issue.
I will update on this Sunday afternoon.
Eight year forecaster.