Sunday February 17, 2013 | 10:01 AM
Posted by David Epstein

An intense ocean storm continues to gain strength as it moves eastward this morning. Southern Maine is on the western edge of the snow shield and there is often a sharp cut-off line between who gets snow and who doesn’t. So far, most of the heavier accumulating snow has been confined to coastal areas of the State, but even there not a lot of  snow has fallen. In other words; this is not a big storm for most. Porltand will end up with around 3 inches of snow from this storm.  Please give me some leeway on that amount a bit up or down.

 

The satellite loop shows the storm pulling out to sea this morning. Drier air is trying to work into the system and will keep this from becoming more than a light to moderate snowstorm for most of the area. When all is said and done most areas from Fryeburg to Portland north to Waterville and east to Rockland will see between 2 and 4 inches of snow. Some of the ski areas can also see a few inches of snow as some moisture wraps around this storm. The snow will be incredibly light and fluffy so a few spots could end up with a bit more, but you will almost be able to use a broom to sweep much of this away it’s so light. As the storm pulls towards Canada it will come close enough to eastern Maine to give them a wallop.

Blizzard warnings are in effect for places like Bangor and Bar Harbor for today where the wind and snow will combine to make for hazardous conditions. The worst of the weather will occur later this morning and into the afternoon in those areas. One of the reasons this storm is growing so intense out over the ocean is that a strong temperature contrast at the ground is combining with a very strong jet stream at higher levels. Winds at 30,000 feet high this morning are nearing 200 miles per hour above this storm.

Tomorrow, a cold and windy President’s day will be followed by a milder Tuesday with some rain at the coast and snow and sleet inland, especially at night. Temperatures Monday will struggle to hit freezing, while during Tuesday afternoon several spots will near 45°F. The balance of the week looks dry and chilly with some slow melting in the afternoons and hard freezes at night.

Ski forecast

This is school vacation week and one of those times of the year that many flock to our state to enjoy outdoor activities. If you are going skiing this week the best days will be Wednesday through Friday. Temperatures those days will be around 10F each morning and near 28F in the afternoon. Tuesday will feature some snow and sleet for the ski areas, but I am not forecasting any mild rain that has a big impact on ski bases. Tomorrow will be the coldest day of the week with highs only in the teens, strong winds and low wind chills. However, tomorrow will also be a day with a fresh coating of powder and those morning runs will be wonderful.  I'd love to hear from you. Please find me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and send me a question.

 

Gardening this week This week I have a video on one of the easiest plants you can grow. The jade plant is one of those houseplants that is almost foolproof. Spend a few minutes learning more about this minimal care plant.

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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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