Saturday November 30, 2013 | 08:06 AM
Posted by David Epstein

 While today is going to be a very cold day, winds will be light and with abundant sunshine it won’t be such a bad day. In summer we talk about humidity as the variable that makes us feel uncomfortable during the summer, in winter, it’s the wind, winds will be almost non-existent all day. Most areas will remain in the 20s the bulk of the day with a few areas along the coast hitting the 30F mark for a couple of hours.

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.

There have been a few snow showers across Cape Cod this morning, but they are staying off our coast.  This is due to the cold air, (it’s 3F in Sanford as I write and zero in Fryeburg), rushing over the warmer ocean.  The air picks up the moisture from the water and then produces snow.  It’s basically the way a lake effect snowstorm happens in Buffalo.  The radar image from early this morning shows the ocean snow showers off the coast moving towards Cape Cod.

Sunday, a weak system will affect the area and bring more in the way of clouds.  There is an outside chance of a shower or flurry, but no major precipitation is anticipated.

The first few days of the new week bring slightly milder air and more in the way of cloudiness.  Temperatures will recover above freezing each day as the highs reach the upper 30s.   By the end of the week even milder air will allow temperatures to reach the 40s.

There is an ocean storm we will have to carefully watch passing by Tuesday and Wednesday.  I mention it  because a change in track could bring precipitation to the areas, right now it looks to not bother us.

Temperatures have been quite cold this month and although the final numbers aren’t in for a few more days, I suspect we will end up quite a bit below average for November.  There have been 19 days thus far averging below normal and although we did have a couple of very mild days this month, the cold has outweighed any warmth.

Ice has formed on many ponds and even some rivers, but it is not safe to walk on it.  We need many weeks of below freezing temperatures for the ice to become thick enough to support a person.  Every year someone makes the mistake of walking on thin ice, take care not to be that person.

There was a trace of snow so far this month and I am not expecting any more before midnight.  December often brings the first accumulating snow and in many years our permanent snow cover.  The past couple of winters December haven’t been very snowy as winter has started late.  Remember back in December 2011, began what would be one of the mildest winters in decades.   The map below shows how much snow is forecast through mid-December.  This map doesn’t tell us specifically when any snow may fall, but it’s useful for a general trend.  Notice there is little or no snow along the coast.   These are very long range maps and one unexpected atmospheric change can make it obsolete.

As we get beyond next weekend there looks to be another shot of very cold air entering the country.  If I am to believe the long range models then highs across the Dakotas will remain subzero the week of the 8th of December.  How much of that bitter cold air makes it east remains to be seen.  

Ultimately, the configuration of the jet stream will determine if the brutally cold air makes it east or stays hung up in the west.   Snow making can continue in the mountains much of the week, but temperatures may warm close to over freezing in the mountains to close out the next 5 days.

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, 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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