Friday November 22, 2013 | 10:01 AM
Posted by David Epstein

 A cold batch of rain showers arrived this morning and while not very heavy, they will be with us on and off much of the day.

The first round of showers comes from a warm front in the morning while the second batch of showers results from a cold front.   All the showers should be just before the commute home, as roads remain wet much of the day.

Across southern New Hampshire and parts of interior Maine this morning the showers fell as sleet and a bit of freezing rain.  A winter weather advisory was posted to make folks aware some roads were a bit icy.

Skies will clear and temperatures fall back to sub-freezing levels overnight.  Interestingly temperatures tonight will be warmer than those to be reached all day Sunday!

Tomorrow will be bright and sunny, but quite chilly.  Most areas will stay in the 30s with some lower 40s showing up across extreme southern Maine.

Our third round of Arctic air this fall hits  for the second half of the weekend with a blustery day and temperatures more like late December.  Highs on Sunday are going to stay just below freezing much of the day. Some areas may not get out of the 20s! 

I'll be updating the forecast for the week on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

If you are headed to the Patriots game bundle up and bring a good wool lap blanket.  With temperatures staying under freezing for so long the ground is going to continue to freeze.  While I am not forecasting any major snow right now, it might be a good idea to put in the snow stakes Saturday.  There is a chance when the ground freezes this weekend; it might not thaw before we get our first plowable snow.   One year I didn’t get the markers in the ground before it froze and I ended up having to run around with a kettle of boiling water thawing little holes in the ground to put the orange things in the soil.

Monday continues the trend of cold and dry weather with sunshine and afternoon readings well below late November normals.   When you get up Monday morning many spots away from the coast will be under 10F with areas closer to the water in the lower teens.   We have seen temperatures below zero at the end of November, but not in a very long time. While it’s going to be cold, we won’t reach record levels.

By now many of you might have heard about a possible storm in the Tuesday-Thursday timeframe.   While there are still many specifics that need to be resolved there are some things we do know. 

The European model and American’s global model are forecasting very different solutions for the atmosphere will behave next week.   The Euro last winter was certainly the more accurate of the two, but this fall the Euro has not been performing as well as previous months.  

Both models form a storm along the coast next week.  The issue is the models are having trouble resolving if the jet stream from Canada and the jet stream from the south merge.  Usually, our most significant storms occur when these two streams “phase” together.  When this happens the storm is able to have both the cold and energy from the northern jet stream and the warmth and moisture from the southern one.  

If the jets don’t merge, we can still get significant precipitation, it may just be more drawn out and the type, rain or snow, less definitive.  Check out this little lesson about phasing jet streams from a storm back in 2002.

Being able to travel smoothly next week is critical for millions of people all across the northeast corridor.  A rainstorm would slow things down quite a bit, but a snowstorm would create havoc.  This forecast is still 5 or 6 days away and a lot can happen.    

Below are two meteograms from information based on the two main models we use.  This is but one small subset of data.  You can see from these pictures both models forecast precipitation for Portland, but the temperature profile is different enough it would impact what type the precipitation takes, especially to start. If either of these end up being right, most of us in southern Maine will be using our shovels come Wednesday night, stay tuned.

This is going to change multiple times over the weekend and my best suggestion is to remain aware of the forecast for the Tuesday-Thursday timeframe closely.

The dry pattern of the past three months is going to break at some point and it’s going to happen sooner rather than later, whether the change occurs next week or sometime in early December, our days of storm free weather are likely numbered. 

Around the House This Week I know some of you are already thinking about Christmas trees. Did you ever consider there are great trees you can add to the landscape that make great Christmas trees? Even if you don't decorate the tree, it will still be a wonderful addition in the landscape.

I'll be updating the forecast for the 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 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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