Thursday February 21, 2013 | 08:25 PM
Posted by David Epstein

As I review latest  suite of data the trend is for a slightly colder and weaker system for Saturday night and Sunday, in other words, no massive storm.  We will certainly still have a storm to watch and there will be some wind and accumulating snow, but we are not looking at a blockbuster system.  

Tonight will be clear and cold with diminishing winds and temperatures falling back to the teens to near 20.  There wasn't much melting today so I don't expect much in the way of icy patches to develop overnight.  Friday is going to be a great day to get outside and enjoy any winter activities. I'll be updating the forecast all day on Twitter at @growingwisdom please send me your reports there. 
 
Temperatures will be approaching 40F in the afternoon and with light winds and stronger sunshine it will feel quite comfortable.   Across southern Maine you might notice buckets on the maple trees.  It's that time of the year when the sap is beginning to run and tomorrow will be an ideal day to collect one of nature's best treats.  
 
Saturday clouds will thicken and rain and snow will arrive towards dark.  It's impossible to predict exactly where the rain snow-line will set up Saturday night, but I expect mostly a snow event, even if the first few hours of precipitation falls as a mixture of rain and snow.
 
The weather pattern will remain quite unsettled for nearly all of next week.  I expect to see several periods of snow or perhaps rain across coastal York county into next weekend.   The driest days next week will be Monday and Tuesday.  The type of pattern that appears to be unfolding for late next week is very complicated and will be even more difficult than usual to forecast.  The atmosphere appears that it will undergo what is called blocking.  When this happens, the atmosphere gets all jammed up and depending on what side of the block you are on, the weather can be radically different.
 
As far as the weekend storm.  Right now I am thinking a general  4-8 " snowfall  for the area.  The highest amounts will be interior York and Cumberland counties and the lowest amounts will be north of Gray and across the immediate coastal communities south of Kennebunk.  Saturday night the precipitation type could be flipping back and forth between rain and wet snow right along the coast, but the trend will be for the rain to turn to all snow during the night.
 
There are still of course uncertainties especially along the coast where the exact amount of rain will determine just how much snow those areas receive.  Some of these details will be ironed out tomorrow and early Saturday.  For now, plan on a messy night Saturday night and the first part of Sunday.
 

Gardening this week With another storm on the horizon for the weekend you might feel like spring is still very far away. The reality is that in just a few weeks, many of you will be able to get into your gardens and start growing for another year. Earlier this month I went to New England Grows which is a trade show for those who work in the industry. Although not open to the general public, in this week's video I share some of the latest trends and newest plants for 2013. I'll be updating the forecast all day on Twitter at @growingwisdom please send me your reports there.

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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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