Wednesday January 15, 2014 | 07:02 AM
Posted by David Epstein

 Depending on when you read this, there could be some black ice this morning mostly before 9AM.  The bulk of our day is going to be quite stellar with highs in the mid-40s and an abundance of sunshine.   This is likely the last of the very mild days for a while, but it doesn’t cool off dramatically the rest of the week.

The mild weather has taken its toll on snow cover not only here, but across much of the country. Over half the country had snow cover when that number reached its maximum last month and now the number itself has been cut in about half at just under 28%. The map below shows the status of snow cover across the country as of 1AM this morning.

Snow cover can fluctuate and grow rapidly if just one storm crosses the country on the right track.  Currently, I don’t see any major changes to the snow cover for the next week or so.  The map below is on models prediction of the total snowfall through January 23rd.   This doesn’t mean we won’t see any snow during this time, it just means the models aren’t picking up on a snowy pattern.

Weather patterns tend to last about 6 week in the winter and while they can re-establish themselves several times throughout a winter, there is often a break between patterns.  We saw a very cold and quite snowy December through early January, now the atmosphere is in flux, deciding what it is going to do for the second half of winter.  We will have an idea if late January and February are going to be cold and stormy, or not in a week or so.

Two weak areas of weather will threaten Maine with some rain or snow showers both Thursday night and again Saturday.  Neither of these situations looks anything more than nuisance precipitation.   The air will be marginally cold enough for snow so some rain could mix in to anything we do see.  Both of these systems are weak enough and could stay far enough away so nothing falls.

Friday and Sunday will be dry days with a blend of clouds and some sunshine.  Friday sees many high temperature readings reach near 40F, while by Sunday it’s colder with most areas remaining in the upper 20s to near 30F or about 10 degrees colder.

That cooling trend continues into early new week for MLK day when highs will be in the 20s statewide, but with a blend of clouds and sunshine.

Although we have not had any snow as of late, the pattern is still conducive for some storm development.  Long range forecasting is less accurate of course than short-term forecasts, but there are signs of a return to colder and perhaps snowier weather next week

I’ll be updating my forecast on Twitter @growingwisdom.com

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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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