Wednesday February 06, 2013 | 11:06 AM
Posted by David Epstein

The morning maps are flying in and indications are growing that a significant snowstorm is on the way for parts of Maine Friday and Friday night in Saturday morning.  Right now timing is such that the snow will break out across the area during the early afternoon Friday.  All of this, including the timing of the snow, is subject to refinement later today and Thursday.  Once the snow starts it will increase in intensity during the afternoon as is overspreads much of the area.

Wind and coastal flooding will also be an issue as the storm increases in intensity as it moves up along the coastline through the night. I believe the most intense part of the storm will be over by noon Saturday as the storm moves away.  This will be about a 16 to 20 hour period of snow with the heavy snow overnight Friday.  The high tide around 9PM will be the one where coastal communities are most vulnerable.  The next high tide after that is astronomically high, but I expect the winds and seas to be not as high by then. 

The map below shows my latest thinking of snow totals.  As you get further north and west of the capital district amounts will fall significantly.  Portland has a much better chance at seeing a foot of snow than does Augusta or Waterville.

Accumulations from this storm should exceed 8 inches across much of southern Maine and rain should not be an issue.  There is the POTENTIAL for up to a foot of snow in some areas especially from Portland south.  This doesn't mean we are getting a foot, it just means that right now information I am getting suggests a lot of precipitation.  The consensus is increasing that we are going be hit and the chance this is going out to sea is decreasing.

New data will arrive about every 6 hours during Wednesday and this will help me further hone the specifics of the storm. 

The next 24 hours will be critical in nailing down the full details of this storm.  As of right now what I don't expect is a historic storms that lasts for two or more days, has catastrophic coastal flooding or major amounts of ice.  By Saturday evening and Sunday morning most roads will be cleared and you will be able to get to any events or stores.  As is the case in nearly all storms we get, there is no need to stock up on unnecessary amounts of food or other supplies.  If things change, there will still be plenty of time to buy that extra gallon of milk tomorrow.

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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, 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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