Friday February 08, 2013 | 09:18 PM
Posted by David Epstein


Some very heavy bands of snow are now rotating towards the coast.  Expect snow to fall at 2-3 inches per hour for the next several hours.

Snow broke out across Maine early this morning, and has already accumulated 6 to 12 inches from Augusta to York. The reason the snow started so early was that warmer air was trying to move inland and hit the cold air along the coast. This process created several hours of snow before the main part of the storm was even here.

Our storm is sitting just south of Cape Cod this evening and will continue to intensify as it moves northeast eventually passing east of Maine early tomorrow.  As the storms moves further east our snow will taper to flurries.

When all is said and done there will be a wide swath of 1 to 2 feet of snow across southern and central Maine. The heaviest amounts will be in York and Cumberland counties and then north along and east of the Maine Turnpike. Some areas could see up to 30" and Portland could set a new record. As you get into the foothills of the state, snowfall amounts will taper to between 6 and 12 inches of light powder.

I'll be updating the forecast on Twitter at @growingwisdom giving you my latest thinking on the storm.

Blizzard warnings remain in effect for the overnight hours for much of southern Maine and winter storm warnings are posted for the rest of the area.  Winds will continue to increase throughout the night and peak around sunrise Saturday.

 

I expect many areas along the coast to see wind speeds reach 50 miles per hour and a few spots could see a gust or two reach hurricane force (74 miles per hour).  The high tide tomorrow in Portland is around 11 feet and is astronomically high.  There could be some moderate to perhaps major coastal damage with this tide cycle.

 
If you hear thunder or see lightning tonight, don't be surprised.  These types of extreme storms often bring thunderstorms with them and the snow that occurs can be incredible.  We could see 3 inches of snow accumulate in one hour if one of these storms passes through Maine.  
 
The record for snowfall in Portland is 27.1 inches and there is a chance a new record might be
 
established with this storm.  Chances are that Portland ends up with around two feet of snow, but if one of those thunderstorms crosses the city, we could go higher and if the storm moves a bit faster we would stay under that 20 inch total.  Needless to say this is a sizeable storm. 
 
Saturday the storm will be ending in the morning, but snow can continue into early afternoon right along the coast.  Winds will diminish, but it will remain quite cold throughout the day with highs in the teens and twenties.  Milder weather for next week brings temperatures above freezing and with the stronger February sunshine some melting of the new snow will occur.   

Gardening
This week I am putting up a video on how to build the perfect container.  While you might not be thinking of gardening this week, you can plant pansies in 8 weeks and if you have protective covering some vegetables can be planted in another 5 weeks.  More on how I do that in upcoming blogs.  

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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