Winter Weather Preparedness Week: Day One
The National Weather Service offices that serve New England have declared October 29th through November 2nd 2018, Winter Weather Preparedness Week. The National Weather Service in Caribou will feature a different educational topic each day during the preparedness week.
Topic: Maine Winter Weather
For those who live in Maine, winter weather is a part of life from November through March and, on some occasions, even in May! Soon snow, sleet, freezing rain, cold temperatures, and dangerously cold wind chills will be common occurrences. While most of the time these weather elements are only a nuisance to our daily routines, at times they can produce hazardous or life-threatening situations for those who are not prepared or for those who do not take the proper precautions.
In Maine, normal snowfall averages from 50 to 70 inches along the coast, but gradually increases as you move inland to more than 140 inches in the mountains. These are just the normals and we only have to look back to some recent winters, such as 2015, to find an exceptional brutal winter as coastal Maine snowfall records were smashed with some areas reaching close to 200". In northern Maine, 100 to 120 inches of snow falls annually. The lesser amounts in coastal areas are partly a result of a frequent change- over to sleet, freezing rain, or rain during many well-developed winter storms.
To those driving or walking, this mixture of precipitation can be even more dangerous than snow. As residents of Maine are all aware from January 1998 and December 2008, large accumulations of freezing rain can cause disastrous conditions. High winds, cold temperatures, cold wind chills, and coastal flooding can also accompany or follow winter storms. One of the biggest threats of winter weather is to those traveling. On average, weather-related vehicle crashes kill 6,253 people and injure more than 480,000 nationwide each year, according to the US Department of Transportation. Most of these accidents occur when the roadways are wet, snowy or icy. When the weather takes a turn for the worse this winter, take precautions if you have to be out on the roadways. Whether there is a coating of snow or ice on the roadways, or the asphalt just looks wet, SLOW DOWN! If the temperature is near freezing, drive like you're on ice - you may be! A great resource to find out information on current road conditions is to visit Maine's Department of Transportation 511 resources at http://newengland511.org/.
Please visit our page www.weather.gov/car this week for useful winter weather information to get you and your family prepared for this upcoming season. In addition follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NWSCaribou and Twitter https://twitter.com/nwscaribou for additional information.
Pine Tree Weather is a proud Weather Ready Nation Ambassador in coordination with the National Weather Service Caribou for the state of Maine.
Pattern remains showery through most of the week
Northern and western areas may see a some snow showers and flurries Tuesday as a weak cold front clips the area. High pressure makes a brief visit and then moves eastward Tuesday night. A frontal boundary moves into the area Wednesday and stalls over the region through the rest of the work week and the first half of the weekend.
The forecast for Hurricane Oscar keeps the storm over the central Atlantic as a long wave trough delivers it to the North Sea by the weekend.
Outlook through Saturday
Trick-or-treaters will need their rain coats and boots or snow gear if in northern areas on Wednesday. Rain showers in various intensities round out the rest of the week. Our next dry day after Tuesday comes Sunday.
More updates to come.
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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Always stay weather aware!
Eight year forecaster.