A messy couple of mornings on tap
Travel is going to be problematic over the next two mornings. Wind forecasts have increased for the coastal plain Thursday morning, so we'll have some blowing snow to contend with through the day. I mentioned that it will blow everywhere on Friday in Tuesday's post here. That idea continues.
One thing I want to make clear right away here is there are two separate systems involved with this two day event. In the spirit of minimizing confusion, I am going to treat them separately rather lumping them all into one basket.
Wednesday night through Thursday 7 PM
Wednesday 9 PM to Thursday 7 PM - A look at 1-hour snowfall rates with the HRRR model here.
NOTE: This is a 10:1 snow to water ratio idea, and with this likely to be 12-15:1 range, these hourly totals are bit on the light side.
There is dry air around thanks the to the cold high to the north which may delay snowfall accumulations at the onset, but as the leaf of the warm front progresses northeastward, flakes will being to pile up. Third shifters going to work, overnight travelers and the morning commute could be a very slick affair.
While a good charge of snow falls in the wee hours of Thursday into the mid-morning hours, snow showers in various intensities are expected to linger through the day, which will bring additional accumulation.
The great debate on whether the warm nose brings sleet in over the south continues. That will dictate the total snowfall amounts. The less sleet, the more snow, the 8-12" could move south into Portland and York County.
Remember, this is snow totals through 7 PM Thursday!
Wednesday 11 PM to Thursday 7 PM - With the warm front approaching, wind speeds will increase. This will cause snow to blow around through the day on Thursday. Wind gusts to around 25 mph won't cause too much of a problem, but it will be enough to blow snow around in the more wide open areas, along with the highways, keeping road crews busy with plowing and salting in spots.
The wind settles down in the afternoon on Thursday into the early evening.
Thursday 7 PM into Friday
Thursday 7 PM to Friday 1 PM - Round two kicks into gear as low pressure advances eastward. Northern areas that got between little to none on Thursday get in on the game Thursday night into Friday. Snow could be heavy at times Thursday night into the wee hours of Friday. This will be over for most areas by daylight on Friday, outside of eastern areas that may see snow showers linger through midday.
Guidance was a bit juicer today so I am following suit in that thinking. This will be a nothing more than a nuisance over southwestern areas. This should be good for the mountains, Great North Woods and Washington County, and totals may increase over the north.
Again, another high ratio (15:1) fluff snowfall event appears likely.
While the snow will have ended for most by daylight Friday morning, I do expect slick conditions through the day as the northwest wind cranks and blows snow around statewide.
Thursday 7 PM to Friday 1 PM - The wind is expected to be cranking by Friday morning, which will make ongoing clean up an ongoing issue as well as travel in areas as the snow will blow around and drift. Wind gusts may get into the 40-50 mph range over the mountains and southwestern areas before gradually diminishing Friday afternoon, and settling by Saturday morning.
While the snow will be fluffy and won't stick, the elevated speeds may cause tree limbs to fall and bring some isolated power outages.
Temperature outlook through Monday