When people think of being a TV weatherman, they focus on the positives (can be wrong and remain employed, wears makeup and smiles for a living etc). What they don't see is me, standing out in the WCSH parking lot at 12:45 AM, looking down at my boots and thinking "Crap, this looks like 3" already and I went 3-"5"." Forget about pointing at a green screen and smiling, the pressure of a forecast that might go wrong...that's the hardest part of this job without question.
The good news for me is that the accumulation is pretty much over along the coastline as a changeover to rain has begun. So that 3" from last night will top out a nice tidy 4", comfortably in my little range. Admitedly I've had to up snowfall totals about 2" across western Maine and the mountains due to early reports from those areas...but otherwise the forecast is on track.
Today: Light snow continues over about 2/3 of the state as the "overrunning" (warm air from a warm front stalled to our south, riding over the top of a cold pool of air at the surface in Maine) situation continues. Most of this precipitation is accumulating at a very slow rate, but there are a few moderate bands embedded in there creating higher snowfall totals in western Maine and northern New Hampshire. Additional accumulations through today will be less than an inch along the coastline, about 1-2" across the interior with 2-3" in the mountains and foothills. The rain snow line will slowly creep further onshore through the late afternoon, setting up about 20 miles inland by sunset.
Tonight: We might get a brief break in the precipitation this evening as the warm front dissipates to our south and we wait for a larger low pressure system to arrive from the south. Still, most of us won't notice a transition between systems, it will seem like one consistent precipitation shield with snow inland and into the mountains and rain along the coastline. The rain will become heavy at times through the early morning over southern Maine and the Midcoast as the low pressure system deepens. The strong the low gets the further the rain/snow line drives west. I think by 3-4 AM tonight it will be raining all the way to about Fryeburg and northeastward to Lewiston and up to Bangor. The mountains will hang onto snow and sleet and the higher foothills will do the same.
Tuesday: Simply a WET day for most of us. Heavy bands of plain rain push onshore through the day and only the higher terrain is able to keep things mainly snow. Where it IS snowing it will be snowing very hard so total accumulations through Wednesday could exceed 18" in the favored mountain spots.
Rain for the majority of the state and mountain snow continues through Tuesday night before the rain/snow line makes a push back east towards the coast by Wednesday morning. There are some indications that Downeast could get dumped with a quick hit of 6-12 inches of snow on Wednesday as the low stalls to the east and spins back plenty of moisture over Washington County in particular. I'll watch this for you because it has potential to be a sneaky strong ending to this event.
Most of us will taper from morning showers to just plain cloudy by Wednesday afternoon.
A nice day on Thursday and then ANOTHER inside runner type storm on Friday looks like a messy repeat with mountain snow and a change to rain for the the majority of the state.
I think we will have some flooding problems: Once the coastline changes to all rain tonight there are some pretty heavy bands forecast to come onshore. 1-2" of rain on top of fresh snow is usually a recipe for flooding. I'm particularly concerned about southern coastal Maine and the Midcoast, where the heaviest rain looks likely.