This evening we find ourselves waiting for a strong nor’easter to develop. This storm will bring a variety of weather to Maine, most of it occurring from tomorrow morning through early Wednesday. This storm is still in the early stages of development, but has been forecast by the models for a week or more. The radar image below courtesy of WeatherBell Analytics shows the development of the storm tonight.

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All of the models agree the storm will move too close to the coast to keep the cold air in place for a blockbuster snowstorm. Even in ski country the snow is going to change to rain before this system is done.

There is a wind advisory along the coast and a winter storm warning in the mountains. There is still a watch for heavy snow potential in the foothills. If the cold air looks like it will linger this may be converted to a warning and I will need to update the snow totals, right now I am comfortable with the lower amounts of snow.

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It’s been a cold day and as such there is enough cold air present for the precipitation to start as snow, even along the coast. I am not expecting much in the way of accumulation and the Tuesday morning commute should be reasonably good.

A quick burst of snow along the coast and through the foothills could yield a trace up to 2 inches. The higher amounts the further west you travel. In the highest mountains heavy snow will fall for several hours amounting to 4 to 8 inches. Well north of Rumford some higher amounts are possible only if the cold air can hang on long enough.

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maine centralnorth snow

The rain will amount to between 1 and 2 inches although some pockets of 3 inch rain amounts is possible if the storm moves slowly enough and there are prolonged tropical bands in these areas.

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If your gutters are clogged by heavy rain they will likely be spilling over tomorrow night and Wednesday morning as the rain falls. The upcoming rainfall is also enough to have a need for sump pumps. It’s not a bad idea to just give it a quick check today before the rain. During the dry late summer and early fall, they likely didn’t work very hard. The second parts of the fall and early winter have brought more regular rain and some snow and now the ground is quite moist. 2 more inches of rain will raise the water table even further.

The core of the storm is over Wednesday morning, but clouds and showers will linger into Thursday. Friday is a drier day with seasonably chilly temperatures and some sunshine trying to break through.

The reason for the prolonged inclement weather is the storm will become stuck around northern New England and continue to spin moisture until it finally dies out late this week.

Coastal flooding will be minor from this storm with a small risk of moderate pockets. The storm is moving quickly enough that we won’t have successive high tides while the storm is in progress and the strongest winds look like they are going to occur during the lower part of the tide cycle. This is more of a typical wet nor’easter than a blockbuster major event. Those folks who live on the coast understand what this means and what to expect.