Snow continues through Monday with a change to rain on Tuesday

11:32 PM, Dec 16, 2012   |    comments
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Let's face facts: This winter package arrived a bit ahead of schedule.

Think of this storm like something you ordered from though, sure it came overnight express instead of 2 day delivery...but the package is still the same.

Aside from snow breaking out about 5-6 hours ahead of schedule over southern Maine, the rest of the forecast is on track.

Tonight: Light to moderate snow bands will continue to stream into southern, central and western Maine throughout the evening. A few stray bands of snow will make it up to Bangor and beyond but for the most part the action will be centered over the southern half of the state. Now if you take a look at the radar you may notice there doesn't seem to be much in the way of precipitation behind this initial burst. That's because there is some dry air at work there, eating up some precipitation. So, clearly, there will be periods of very light or no snow...but that's part of the plan. Bottom line, much of southern and central Maine will wake up to 1-3" of snow with snow still falling.

Monday: Light snow will continue and slowly push northeastward towards Bangor by midday and then into northern Maine by the afternoon. There will be some embedded bands of moderate snow in there as well, those bands are most likely over southern Maine and into New Hampshire..closer to the stalled warm front to our south. MOST of us will stay all snow but the coastline may flirt with sleet and some moments of rain as the day wears on. Total accumulation for Monday will fall in the 1-3" range close to the coastline with more like 3-6" across the interior and into the foothills. Places like Fryeburg will likely see the early jackpot from this first bunch of snow.

Monday Night: There will be a brief break in the precipitation by early evening as Storm #2 rolls up the coastline. This, as I mentioned over the past few days, is the stronger of the two storms...but it's also going to bring in much warmer air. So the initial bands late Monday night will be snow in most spots but very quickly the coastline will change over to rain. The interior (say 50 miles inland) will hang onto a mixture of snow and sleet, some of it coming down heavily at times after midnight. The mountains will stay all snow at this point.

Tuesday: This is the heaviest part of the storm but the story is really all about watching the inevitable march of the rain snow line moving from the coast, to the interior and eventually even into the mountains. It WILL be raining along the coastline by the early morning on Tuesday with that rain/snow line probably all the way into foothills by 8 AM. Obviously the longer each location hangs onto wintry precipitation, the higher the snowfall totals.(Why this strong rain push? The storm is basically tracking right over Maine or even a little west. You need the low pressure system to stay well to our to east to keep the cold air in place. With this setup you get a screaming east wind off the water...the water which is still about 45 F. Rain all the way)

I've posted a snowfall map...duh. So that might be easier for some. Either way, a lot of us will see this new snow largely washed away by the heavy bands of rain lashing onshore through the afternoon. This, I think, is the story many meteorologists are missing when it comes to this storm (Shocker: Keith thinks his forecast is better than everyone else s :-))...flooding. With widespread rain amounts in excess of 1.5" ON TOP of snow clogging up drains, I think we could see some decent flooding particularly in urban areas. I'll watch this for you as it develops.

Most of us experience rain Tuesday night but the mountains and foothills change back to snow. They may pick up a few inches but it will be somewhat hard to get widespread accumulation right after the rainfall.

The storm pulls out to sea as a mixture of light rain and light snow on Wednesday morning with dry conditions by Wednesday night.

We get a break Thursday before another storm moves in for Friday.

Bad news for ya though...that one looks like a change to rain too.

Twitter: @KeithCarsonWCSH



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