Friday, March 7, 2014
It’s a quiet day today with a lot of sunshine. There will be some late day clouds, but enough sun to help boost temperatures into the lower and middle 30s. Clouds are going to increase tonight and snow breaks out between 5AM and 7AM on Wednesday. It snows hardest from about 7AM until around 1PM from Portland south, with the heaviest snow from 10AM until 5PM in the capitol district and mountains. This is the time most of the accumulation will occur.
It’s going to be cold enough for the precipitation to fall as all snow the entire storm. I am not concerned about rain or sleet mixing into the storm
When does the snow occur?
This is a bit risky for me to do because it’s impossible to do this for the entire area. This will give you a generally feeling for the intensity of the storm and what to expect. For the Portland metro area this is what I am thinking.
Between 6AM and 9AM look for 1-3 inches to fall.
Between 9AM and 2PM look for 4-6 inches to fall
Between 1PM and 5PM look for a 1-2 inches to fall
Type of snow
The snow will be light and closer to the fluffy end of the scale as opposed to the heavier wet cement type of snow.
Since the snow is light and not wet it won’t stick to power lines. Also, there won’t be wind issues (see below) so power problems are not a factor.
There won’t be much in the way of wind with this system. Winds will come from the east at 10-20 miles per hour at the coast, certainly nothing even close to those storms which bring strong winds.
The Wednesday morning commute is going to be a mess. Snow will be falling at heavy rates throughout the commute. I would recommend, if you can, take work home and work from home tomorrow. There will be widespread cancellations and those of you in the areas with the heavy snow predicted will have your kid’s home to help. The evening commute will take place with the snow ending and road crews trying to get things back to normal, but with a foot of snow in many areas over southern Maine even the evening ride home will be slow.
The good news is this storm isn’t going to create any coastal flooding.
Changes to the forecast
Here’s what can go wrong with this forecast. The biggest potential change will be areas north of Portland. If the storm tracks further north or south the snow amounts will change dramatically. This afternoon, if the new data shows a change in storm track, I will need to “up” the amounts for the capitol district and mountains. If the new data shows the system staying further south, amounts will drop. Remember, the map of snowfall is based on the best data at the time. It will change as more information comes available this afternoon.
The weather turns calmer for a few days Thursday through Saturday with a blend of clouds and sunshine and highs in the 20s. It will be nice to get outside and enjoy the new snow. The next storm threat is Sunday afternoon through Monday. There will be a big storm developing. However, the amount of snow could be near zero if the storm stays hundreds of miles off the coast or a much more significant storm if the track takes the system closer to the region. It’s still 5 or 6 days away and impossible to know at this stage.Tweet
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.