Thursday December 20, 2012 | 04:39 PM
Posted by David Epstein

A powerful and deadly storm that has created blizzard conditions across the Midwest is headed for Maine.  Maine will be on the warm side of this storm meaning that from the coast to the mountains the precipitation will eventually turn to rain.  The good news for skiers is that there will be a few inches of snow before and after the change to rain across ski country.  Check out more of my forecast on Twitter  where you can follow me @Growingwisdom

I expect the rain to breakout across the region before sunrise Friday with winds increasing and gusting over 40mph along the coast and at the higher elevations.   The storm is so intense that coastal storm warnings have been posted along the coast and high wind advisories just inland.  Winds will peak during Friday with some scattered power outages possible as well as some minor tree damage.

In order for the entire area to see a storm with all snow, the low pressure system would have to stay offshore.  Storms have two sides to them a warm and a cold side.  When storms like the one impacting us Friday move just over our area or to the west warm air is able to move inland from Casco Bay and change any snow to rain.  The stronger the winds the further inland the warm air can move and in the case of this storm, the changeover is headed for the Canadian border.

As the storm pulls away Saturday a rush of cold air will filter back into the region.  This cold air will change any rain back to snow before it all ends.   If there is any accumulation of snow on the back side of the storm it will be light.  However, the mountains could see 1-3 inches of snow after the rain goes back to snow later Friday night and early Saturday. 

Many of you will be traveling to friends and family later this weekend, Christmas Eve or Christmas day.  The good news is that the weather will cooperate with dry conditions yielding dry roads.   Temperatures will be seasonable to slightly below what you might expect.   When the kids get up Christmas morning and want to go outside, temperatures will be in the teens along the coast to some single digits inland. I still see no true arctic air in sight with widespread sub-zero temperatures.

Since we have not had a prolonged period of cold, the ice is still not safe on ponds and lakes.  This upcoming week the ice will begin to thicken, however, you should wait till January to venture out on the ice. 

Christmas tree care Speaking of Christmas this is the time to either get your tree or keep the one you have healthy for a few more weeks. Check out the video below on how to care for and select the perfect tree. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. Please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at GrowingWisdom.com

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About the Author

David Epstein has been a meteorologist for more than 25 years. He spent 16 years in Boston and currently freelances at WGME13 in Portland.

In 2006, David founded GrowingWisdom.com, a business producing educational and marketing videos for the green industry. He currently is a professor at Framingham State College, teaches Jan Plan at Colby College and owns Bloomscapes Inc., a landscape design business.

David authored "Gardens Of New England" and his work has been published in Grolier's Science Annual for 10 years. He lives in South Natick, Mass., and has a summer home in Harpswell.

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