Sunday March 17, 2013 | 05:18 PM
Posted by David Epstein

Here we go again or should I say still? Another snowstorm is headed for the area. Snowfall so far this winter in Portland stands at 88 inches and there is a chance a foot of snow from the upcoming storm could take us over the 100-inch mark. A  final total of around 8 inches of the white stuff is very likely, but that 12-inch final amount certainly needs to be watched. Portland has already had about 3 feet of snow more than the long-term average. Inland areas while above normal for snow are closer to normal.

I'll be updating my weather forecast for our latest snowstorm on Twitter at @growingwisdom please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

Tonight will be a very cold night for the second half of March.  Temperatures will drop below zero in the foothills and mountains and single digits along the coast.  Monday highs will be in the 30s. At times a chilly wind will blow, but sunshine will remain bright all day. Remember to bring the sunscreen this time of the year if you are headed outside.  The sun is as strong as it would be in mid-September and getting stronger.
Let’s get right to the details of the storm.
I have put a band of snow along the coast that is slightly less than the foothills. This band assumes some mixing with sleet during the storm  will cut down on amounts. If there is cooler air than I am thinking, then the heavier bands to the west of the coastline would move further east and everyone would be in for the heaviest amounts. The models are predicting about 1 to  1 1/2 inches of precipitation from this storm.  If all of that fell as snow then everyone would get 10 to 16 inches. 
A cold front is pushing through the area today and ushering in a reinforcing shot of cold air from Canada. This air is going to try to keep the snow/rain line from moving west and north off the ocean. For those of you along the coastline for every hour the precipitation remains all snow another inch of snow will fall.  
Unlike other storms this winter the winds from this one will not be as strong so beach erosion won’t be as severe. However, many beaches have taken a beating this winter and any wind and wave actions will certainly exacerbate the situation. The tides are not astronomically high for this storm, another piece of good news in a winter with not a lot of it for the shore.
The heaviest of the snow will occur Tuesday from 3AM to 8 PM. This means that the Tuesday AM trek to work will be difficult and I imagine many of you will telecommute that day.  Some schools will be closed for the day adding to the already lengthy school year. The snow will break out after midnight Tuesday and I will be watching the progression of the snow northward tomorrow to determine a more precise start time.  Right now I would say snow starts overspreading the areas from about 1 AM Tuesday well south and west Portland and closer to 3AM in the city.  Remember, this will need to be refined later this evening and Monday morning.
Tuesday this storm will be moving north and after 6 PM the heaviest snow and sleet will wind down. The snow can come in two bursts, one in the morning with a few inches and another in the afternoon.  The snow will lighten for a time in between. If there was a change to sleet or rain Tuesday, the precipitation will change back to a period of snow before it completely ends Tuesday evening.  Wednesday will be blustery and cold with highs in the 30s and still a lot of clouds and a few morning flurries possible.

Gardening this week A very common problem with house plants is aphids.These sucking insects leave a residue on the leaves that can then cause a secondary infection on your plants. If you notice a black shoot-like coating on your houseplants, you probably have black sooty mold. This problem while not generally fatal to a plant can be an indication of an insect infestation. Check out this weeks video on black sooty mold and see if your plants have this issue. I'll be updating my weather forecast for this week on Twitter at @growingwisdom please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

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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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