Wednesday January 01, 2014 | 12:10 PM
Posted by David Epstein

A cold day continues with a brisk breeze and a blend of clouds and sunshine.  There's a winter storm watch posted for Cumberland and York Counties for tonight and Friday. The fact this is posted for only Maine's southern two counties is an indication we are on the northern fringe of a storm passing south of Maine.  The watch was issued because these areas have the greatest chance of seeing 6 inches or more of snow by Friday morning.

Clouds will tend to role in this evening and thicken overnight.  I don't expect much if any snow before dawn Thursday.  I will be updating the forecast here and on Twitter.  You can follow me there @growingwisdom.  Feel free to comment, chat or just ask a question.

A storm is going to come in two pieces from early Thursday through mid-morning Friday.  The snow won't be incredibly heavy, but because it's going to be so light and fluffy it has the potential to amount to significant levels.

The storm will last a long time, but there will be a lull in snowfall during the midday Thursday before another round of snow falls Thursday night and early Friday.  I will have more on this lull tomorrow.

South of about Augusta is where the snow will primarily fall.  This is a southern New England storm and southern Maine will see the most impact.

Once the snow starts in the early morning Thursday, there is going to be snow on and off through Friday morning with a few bursts of moderate snow during that time.  The cold air rushing over the warmer ocean will give what we call ocean enhancement to the snow.  While I only expect a few inches Thursday, the snow will slowly build up to rather impressive levels by Friday mid-morning. Areas along the coast have the greatest chance for up to 9 or more inches of snow.  In these situations, some towns can see 5 or 6 inches more than 10 miles away.  As you get north and west of the coastline snow amounts will fall dramatically.   If the storm pushes slightly further east, then the coast will escape the bands of heavier snow.  Since the height of the storm is still about two days away, there can be changes to the snow totals.

Winds will increase Thursday night and will blow and drift the snow.  There will be some coastal beach erosion during the time of high tide on Friday.  The tides are running astronomically high, but I don't expect anything more than some minor issues as the coast.

Temperatures are going to be very cold from Thursday night through much of the weekend.  When the winter is over, this period could end up being the coldest of the entire winter.  It's a tough call to make, but if it's not the coldest, it will be close.

Highs Friday will struggle to 8 or 9 above, even in Portland.  This is cold air straight from the arctic and as such is also very dry.  You will need to use humidifiers to add moisture to the air and make it more comfortable.

We have a statewide below zero night Friday night and some places in the mountains and up north should reach 20  below.

A moderation in temperature begins Saturday and Sunday when highs get back into the 20s, we should see coastal areas hit the melting point on Monday with highs in the lower 30s.

Indoor Flowers You Can Grow Easily Indoor flowers are a great way to chase away some of those winter doldrums. Check out this week's video on these wonderful indoor bulbs known as amaryllis.

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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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