Friday, March 7, 2014
A few flurries marked the edge of colder air moving southward through the Pine Tree State this evening and this cold air will play a critical role in a snowstorm tomorrow night.
I'll be updating the snow forecast as it changes on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.
A winter storm warning is up for much of the area through Sunday morning. This warning begins tomorrow night as the steady snow moves into the region. I am expecting a few flurries or some light snow Saturday, but the bulk of the snow falls after 11PM Saturday.
A quick look at today will provide sunny skies and cold temperatures. Highs will be in the teens to mid-20s north to south.
Overnight is clear and cold, winds will be brisk pushing wind chill levels well below zero in most places. Lows are going a few degrees below zero inland and in the lower single numbers along the coast.
When you awake, there will be a bit of sunshine to start the day, but clouds will lower and thicken throughout the day. Aside from a few flurries, there won't be any accumulation during the daylight hours, so head out and do whatever errands you need without fear of getting caught in the start of the storm.
Some of you hate driving in snow and I would advise you do be off the roads by 8PM or so if this is the case. From about 7PM to 10PM snow will overspread the area and become steadier and heavier as the night progresses. It will be cold with temperatures in the teens.
The night is going to be snowy and roads will become more difficult to travel. Late at night, between 1AM and 7AM, visibility could lower to under 1/4 a mile at times. If you take it slowly and don't stay out too late, you should be able to attend that holiday gathering and get home safely before the worst of the storm.
Our storm system will be tracking up the coastline Saturday night and early Sunday morning. We don't know the exact tract of any weather system until very close to the actual event. At this point, it seems highly likely cities and towns in Maine will experience mostly snow. The rain/snow line should remain off the coast, although a few of the islands could mix with some sleet or freezing rain Sunday morning.
When moisture forms snow, the snow can be light and fluffy or heavy and wet. In our upcoming storm, the snow will be very light. You will be amazed how easily 8 or more inches of snow will be able to be moved. This "fluff factor" is going to increase the totals we see significantly. Some areas will exceed a foot of very powdery "arctic dust" in this cold snowstorm.
I expect the snow to wind down Sunday morning and there may even be some sunshine late in the day. This is the radar shot for early Sunday afternoon. Notice it's still snowing heavily across central and northern Maine. The snow will end there later in the day.
How much snow?
The snow totals are based on two important factors. First, the storm tracks close enough to give us the maximum amount of moisture and secondly the storm doesn't track so close it brings the rain/snow line into coastal Maine and lowers amounts. I'll update my thinking on these issues during the day and Saturday.
It looks cold and dry for Monday with a bit of snow possible Tuesday, but not a big storm.
Outdoor project this weekend
In this video I show you a project you can do this weekend and bring the kids along too.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.