Thursday, December 12, 2013
As of late afternoon, much of the area that was seeing rain earlier today is now getting snow. For instance, in Portland, after several hours of rain, it is now snowing again. The snow is having a hard time accumulating as temperatures are still above freezing. As the night progresses the snow will accumulate several inches even along the coast.
I'll be updating the forecast throughout the storm on Twitter at @growingwisdom please send me your reports there.
Predicting accumulations from York along the turnpike to about Brunswick is going to be very difficult. I put the area along the coastline in a 2-6 inch wide band. The 2 inch amounts will be extreme southern sections right along the water and east of Rockland along the water. As you move inland 5 to 10 inches of snow is a good bet, with more across ski country.
The mountains will do great with this storm, with about a foot of snow. Some areas will see a few inches less and some a few inches more, but you get the idea. Be prepared for changing conditions throughout the overnight if you are traveling around the state.
This is a storm with a little bit of every type of weather. Starting now and continuing through much of spring the atmosphere becomes very much in a state of flux. There is still plenty of cold air to the north, but signs of spring are developing to the south. We know that eventually warmer temperatures will make it into Canada, but getting there can be a messy and even dangerous proposition.
The reason spring can be so volatile in the weather department is that you have such extreme temperature differences across the hemisphere. In Canada it can still be well below zero while to the south it can start nearing 90 degrees. This extreme difference in temperature leads to big storms of rain and snow and also, depending on where you are, severe weather.
The other aspect of the weather this time of year can be something called “blocking.” Blocking occurs when the jet stream becomes stuck in a much amplified position and doesn’t allow storms to move across the planet at their typical speeds. When a block happens, storms can remain in place for several days until they finally leave or just spin themselves to death. This week once the storm moves into the area Thursday it will have a difficult time leaving. While I expect the steadiest precipitation Wednesday night and Thursday morning, showers of rain and snow will linger through the entire week.
Friday also begins the month of March. March is often a wintry month to start and more of a spring month to finish. As I look at the long range charts the first two weeks of the month, it looks cold and wet. When I write “cold and wet” this doesn’t mean 14 days of snow and rain, but it does mean that during the first half of the month there will be frequent periods of precipitation and not many, if any, warm days.
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 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.Tweet
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.