Dry and cold weather continues for the balance of the work week, but there is still a small risk for some snow this weekend along the coast and mainly over southern Maine.

storms southd

Let’s chat about the cold first. Wednesday will certainly feel cold once again. When you combine the wind and the cold, the real feel temperatures will be in the single numbers below zero at times.

This cold isn’t even a little unusual; as a matter of fact it’s more unusual we’ve seen so little of it this winter. However, as we all know, this winter prolonged cold or major snow hasn’t materialized.

The frigid air is right on schedule. The chart below shows we are at the bottom of the temperature curve. Beginning this weekend is still a small increase in average temperatures. Averages don’t always matter. The coldest days on record occurred in February even though the coldest averages are this week.

pwm averagesd

The most bone-chilly temperature ever recorded in Portland was 39 below zero and that was set in February 1943. This record is prior to the records being moved to the Jetport which means it isn’t as reliable, but it’s still in the record books as the official low temperature for Portland. It’s unlikely because of the location of the Jetport we’d ever see a reading that cold again. The most recent coldest temperatures came in 1971 when January’s low reached minus 26 followed by a minus 25 in February.

One of the reasons meteorologist use 30 years as the time period for calculating averages is because of a shifting climate. If we compared this week’s cold to what was typical 100 years ago, it would be even less noteworthy.
Since it is cold enough to snow, if a storm did reach Maine in this pattern it would likely bring snow not rain. You’ve likely already heard about the possible storm this weekend. The storm is presently just about to hit the west coast and from there it will travel across the country and make the turn up the coastline towards the mid-Atlantic and then possibly New England.

All the models agree on a storm. The image below shows the position of the storm (L) on Saturday morning. The European model is for 12 hours later, but a similar pattern. If you have travel plans in the Virginia to New York corridor Friday and Saturday, the weather will likely impact travel and for some areas could be an historical type of storm.


Presently it’s less likely, though not impossible Maine is impacted by this coastal blizzard. The latest version of the GFS model and its ensembles are trending south with the storm. In other words, it’s becoming less not more likely we see a storm this weekend. The picture below shows many versions of the same forecast. Think of it like tweaking a recipe and getting the same result. If you look closely, you can see nearly all the forecasts are sparing Maine a significant snow.


I’ll be updating the storm forecast throughout the week on Twitter @growingwisdom. Please follow me there.