Friday January 03, 2014 | 04:53 PM
Posted by David Epstein

 After a cold day, we have one of the colder nights in several years ahead.  All areas of the state will be subzero by 8 or 9PM and stay that way through the first few hours after sunrise.  The sunshine Saturday will help to move the mercury quite a bit higher than today with many places almost doubling their temperatures.  The high around Portland on Saturday will reach the lower 20s, it won’t be warm enough to melt much snow, but it will certainly feel a lot more comfortable.

Speaking of snow, southern Maine definitely saw the highest totals from this particular storm.  You can see on the map below just how much snow York and Cumberland Counties received as well as the rest of the area.

Ski areas are enjoying a lot of natural snow and the weekend temperatures will be cold, but still tolerable for skiing.  The sunniest of the days will be Saturday as Sunday sees an increase in clouds, especially in the afternoon.

Our next storm is going to move in from the south and track in such a manner as to bring milder air into the area.  This means although the storm may start with a wintry mix, rain is likely to be the predominant precipitation type across much of southern Maine.

Once the storm passes on Monday, another blast of arctic air moves into the region for Tuesday and Wednesday.  While it’s going to be cold, the air will not reach the levels we are seeing tonight or over the past 24 hours.  Towards Friday there could be another storm, but it’s just something on the horizon to watch and not written in stone.

Here’s an interesting fact about Saturday morning.  The sun, at 7AM, will make its closest path to the Earth of the entire year. This phenomenon is called perihelion and happens every year. I find it ironic while this is happening, much of Maine will likely have one of the, if not the, coldest nights of the winter.  The reason for the cold, even when we are close to the sun is that the angle of the sun in winter is very small and this is a bigger factor in determining temperature than the Earth’s proximity to the sun.

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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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