Saturday, December 7, 2013
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.
While today is going to be a very cold day, winds will be light and with abundant sunshine it won’t be such a bad day. In summer we talk about humidity as the variable that makes us feel uncomfortable during the summer, in winter, it’s the wind, winds will be almost non-existent all day. Most areas will remain in the 20s the bulk of the day with a few areas along the coast hitting the 30F mark for a couple of hours.
I'll be updating the forecast for the week on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.
There have been a few snow showers across Cape Cod this morning, but they are staying off our coast. This is due to the cold air, (it’s 3F in Sanford as I write and zero in Fryeburg), rushing over the warmer ocean. The air picks up the moisture from the water and then produces snow. It’s basically the way a lake effect snowstorm happens in Buffalo. The radar image from early this morning shows the ocean snow showers off the coast moving towards Cape Cod.
Accidents on the Maine Turnpike again this morning as a windswept rain continues across Maine. Even in ski country the snow is changing to rain as very mild air streams north from the tropics. There are flood watches up for much of the area with warnings and advisories for the wind.
While most of the precipitation will fall as rain, but there will be some snow on the western edge. As the storm end tonight and colder air rushes back into the area a few inches of snow could fall across the mountains. In southern New England there may be a few flurries before the precipitation comes to an end, but I am not expecting any travel issues if you are driving there. The rainstorm will have a lull around the middle of the afternoon before a second and final batch of rain moves northward for the first part of the evening. After that it will turn drier and windy.
A bit of light snow shower activity crossed the area this morning, but this isn't related to the main storm we have on tap for tonight and much of Wednesday. I often update changes in the forecast on my twitter account @growingwisdom, so be sure to follow me there.
It’s been a very dry fall and you have to go back to June to find a period with a widespread rainstorm similar to what we have upcoming tonight. Because the air is still quite cold, there is a winter weather advisory up for inland and especially the mountains.
Before I get to the details of the forecast, let me talk about the traffic for a minute. Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday evening has become one of the busiest days to leave the area now riviling Wednesday. Keep that in mind when making plans. Wednesday morning is usually a very light traffic day, with the bulk of the cars hitting the road after noon. The traffic also tends to die off a bit earlier Wednesday evening than you might expect.
Now let's put the upcoming storm on top of what we know about the traffic. I don't expect any precipitation for the entire daylight hours. Take a look at the map below. This is a projected radar for 8PM. At that time rain will have broken out across much of Connecticut and down through New York City.
What a cold and blustery day it has been. In case this is your first winter in Maine, it’s not quite normal to have it this cold this early. Although there are not any records being set around these parts, it’s going to be a very cold night ahead with wind chill readings below zero at times. When you awake tomorrow morning temperatures will range from the lower teens right at the water to near zero well inland up across the mountains.
You can get a sense of how strong the cold is by looking at temperatures across the country. The cold air has penetrated into Dallas, Texas and the panhandle of Florida. This is more typical of late December. Here in southern Maine, the high temperature today was reached at 12:01 this morning as no town surpassed the readings from back at midnight. The air is also exceedingly dry. When you get air coming in from the arctic regions it contains no moisture. As you bring that air inside your home and warm it up, you drop the relative humidity to under 10%.
A cold batch of rain showers arrived this morning and while not very heavy, they will be with us on and off much of the day.
The first round of showers comes from a warm front in the morning while the second batch of showers results from a cold front. All the showers should be just before the commute home, as roads remain wet much of the day.
Across southern New Hampshire and parts of interior Maine this morning the showers fell as sleet and a bit of freezing rain. A winter weather advisory was posted to make folks aware some roads were a bit icy.