Tuesday January 21, 2014 | 05:12 PM
Posted by David Epstein

The arctic air arrived late yesterday and will remain with us for many days to come.  The boundary between the arctic air and the relatively mild air is spawning a coastal storm tonight affecting much of the area from Washington, DC to Boston. 

Southern Maine will be on the northern fringe of this system with a few inches of snow along the coast and some lighter snow inland.  Unfortunately, the mountains are going to miss the event completely.  However, the air is so cold; making snow will be easy and quick.  At these temperatures, the manmade snow is also a bit less dense and I think more fun to ski.

The snow will break out across the region this evening spreading up the coastline throughout the night.  The snow will be very light and fluffy and similar in texture to the storm just after New Year’s day.  Winds will increase and wind chills are going to be low.  There are wind chill advisories west of the coastline for the low wind chill values.

I expect the city of Portland to see around 2-4 inches of snow (give or take an inch), with some areas just south of the city hitting  higher amounts.  As you move east up the coastline amounts will be similar with some of the outer islands seeing a bit more snow. 

I'll update the forecast here and on Twitter @growingwisdom.  Please follow me there.

There will not be a rain/snow line with this system as the air is just too cold.  The morning commute Wednesday will be impacted with the snow tapering off during the first part of the morning.  Further east, the snow will last a bit longer.   The radar image below shows the steadiest snow (orange) moving into Down East Maine around noontime.

Winds will continue to be brisk, especially along the coastline where they could exceed 20 miles per hour at times.  This will further exacerbate the already cold temperatures through the daylight hours Wednesday.  The image below shows what the winds will be like during the day tomorrow.  Notice the strongest winds are offshore.

What’s next?

This is quickly turning into a cold and snowy winter for Maine. While we have seen plenty of snow over the past 10 years, this is becoming one of our colder winters.   As I look at the next 10 days I only see a day or two of temperatures even nearing the freezing mark.  There are signs we could turn even colder next week and rival or surpass any cold we have seen thus far.  It’s a bit difficult to predict the peak of the cold, however, when winter is over, these next few weeks will likely end up being the core of the cold we see all season.

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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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April 2014

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