Write it down in your diary (and laugh about it later in the day (turn on your speakers)): On December 13, 2012, Keith Carson refused to make a rogue, aggressive call on a storm. He was instead forced into the most dreaded of all weather cliches "it's just too early to call."
I just died a little bit inside.
Truth is though, I have no choice in this situation. Our pattern turns stormy by Sunday but the brunt of the winter weather doesn't arrive until midweek. With no computer model agreement to speak of, and no CLEAR outliers, we are flying blind in the 5-6 day range for the moment.
Let's start with today though: Mostly sunny and fairly pleasant. High pressure is in control so the only area with some cloud cover is the higher terrain. Otherwise look for temperatures in the upper 30s to low 40s and abundant sunshine.
Tonight: Partly cloudy and quiet over 90% of the state. Far northern Maine (read: Caribou) will get clipped by a weak low pressure system after midnight, so some light snow will break out there. For the rest of us it's dry and chilly, lows between 23-29 F for most of the state.
Friday: A mixture of sun and clouds, but warmer. There will be more in the way of developing fair weather cloudiness, especially in the afternoon, but the tradeoff will be highs in the mid 40s in many spots. By late afternoon a few snow showers will develop in the western mountains in association with a cold front pushing into the state.
The front will fizzle by the time it exits the foothills so just look for some mountain snow showers and squalls on Friday night, but otherwise partly cloudy and chilly.
Saturday: Mostly sunny but notable cooler. With the cold front offshore look for temperatures to struggle to break 35 F. Many spots over northern Maine will actually stay in the 20s through the entire day.
Sunday morning and through midday looks pretty quiet but clouds start increasing rapidly from southwest to northeast by the afternoon as a warm front approaches.
This is the first part of our stormy pattern and it looks like some light snow will break out by the late Sunday afternoon over southern and central Maine in response to the warm frontal boundary. The snow will likely continue into the evening Sunday and linger through the early morning on Monday before dissipating. Since this is just a warm front event I anticipate it will be a 2-4" type event with isolated higher amounts in the mountains. But, truth be told, I'm just basing those numbers on previous experience in this setup since we are still 3.5 days out and precipitation forecasts are a bear that far out. Either way it doesn't look like a HUGE deal, but enough to give 2/3 of Maine some snow.
We should get a break on Tuesday with mostly cloudy conditions and a few snow showers before another storm threatens on Wednesday.
This storm is being spun up as a more classic Nor'easter type with a large low pressure system forming along a stalled cold front over the Atlantic.
Problem is the computer models are WILDLY different on what happens to that low. One model spins the low harmlessly out to sea, while another model pushes the low back into New England as a BOMB of a storm with heavy wind, snow and some coastal rain.
As I said before I usually like to make early calls to help people plan for events, but I just don't have a strong feeling in this particular situation. I'm going to wait out another few runs of the computer models and see if some agreement can be reached. Anyone who says they "know" what will happen with this midweek storm is just plain full of it; it's too tough to call at the moment...even for a crazy man like me.
Twitter: I'll be in full geek mode for the next week or so it looks. @KeithCarsonWCSH