Monday January 20, 2014 | 09:03 PM
Posted by David Epstein

 Here comes the cold.  The bitter blast is really the big story this week after our January thaw.  Temperatures are rapidly falling tonight as arctic air oozes into the region.  By morning all areas will be at least in the single numbers with widespread below zero readings in the foothills and up north.

Unlike the past several arctic outbreaks, this one has staying power.  Many nights will end up below zero even along the coast and daytime highs will not get into the 20s the rest of the week.   There are signs temperatures could remain under freezing for as long as two weeks giving meaning to the saying the deep freeze.

There are advisories and warnings for wind chill temperatures in the western and northern parts of Maine.  Wind chill will continue to be an issue through at least Wednesday night.

There is storm which will brush by southern and coastal Maine Tuesday night and early Wednesday.  It will bring accumulating snow to most of the area with the heaviest staying along the coast and south of Portland.

 If the storm comes closer the coast I will need to up my forecasted snow amounts on Tuesday afternoon.

Timing of the snow

Sunshine and cold weather starts Tuesday with clouds thickening in the afternoon and snow arriving at night.  Neither the morning nor the evening commute will be impacted by anything more than cold weather.  The snow arrives after 10PM Tuesday and exits the area by 10AM Wednesday.  

How much snow?

The heaviest totals remain over the southern part of the state.  A shift of 40 miles further west or east of the final track of the storm could change these amounts.  Presently, this looks to be a small snow event.  I will be updating the forecast prior and during the snow here and on Twitter @growingwisdom

Wind and drifting

Winds will be quite gusty by early Wednesday morning and since the snow will be so light it will get blown around quite a bit.

School delays and cancellations

School  wont' be impacted tomorrow, but could be delayed or cancelled in some towns, mostly along coastal York County on Wednesday.

Airport travel

This storm will hit Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York Tuesday afternoon.  Air travel will definitely see issues starting tomorrow morning and continuing into Wednesday morning. Logan Airport will be impacted later Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.  Call ahead and bring your patience.  We have seen how these storms are having bigger impacts to air travel than one might expect.

Cold air and wind chill

Behind any snow, cold continues with frigid temperatures the rest of the week.  Wind chills will be in the single numbers below zero Tuesday morning and continue to be low through mid-week. There will be some moderation in the cold on Saturday, before more frigid air returns next week.  The cold pattern is likely to continue through the first week of February.

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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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