Even if you are a snow hater, you have to admit there's something kind of wrong about wrapping Christmas presents while it's pouring rain sideways. (I am a notoriously awful wrapper. I never know how to judge the correct amount of paper needed for each present. The problem can be traced to my middle school standardized test results: English: Above Average Math: Above Average Spatial Concepts: Needs Improvement.)
Unfortunately, with another warm storm on the way our chances of a white Christmas are dwindling across coastal and interior Maine.
Today: Wow, maybe the Mayans were right, there's a big ball of fire in the sky and I think it's headed this way. Wait, wait...nevermind that's just the sun. Mostly sunny as high pressure gives us a one day break from stormy weather. There will be more cloud cover in the mountains with some terrain induced cloud formation there...but I doubt they will notice as they enjoy the 25"+ of snow from the past few days. Highs in the mid to upper 30s with some low 40s over southern Maine.
Tonight: Clouds increase rapidly from southwest to northeast as our next storm approaches. Most of the night will be dry however so travel shouldn't be an issue unless you are still on the road at 4 AM (you Thirsty Thursday party animal!) That's about the timeframe in which light snow will break out over western Maine with light rain along southern coastal Maine.
Friday: Yet another "inside runner" storm. This one will track even further west than our last, so the rain/snow line will be able to push further west into the foothills with a surge of very warm air from the east-southeast. Kind of a shame from the white Christmas standpoint too because this storm is pretty juiced; the plains are experiencing blizzard conditions etc...but that won't happen here. Although the storm will turn out to be quite warm, many places WILL deal with snow at the onset tomorrow morning. I'd draw the line from North Conway, NH to Paris, ME then northeast to Waterville and up to Bangor. If you are west or northwest of this line, look for some snow tomorrow morning at the beginning of this storm. The rain/snow line, however, will quickly drive northwest into the foothills by 11 AM and then even into the base of the mountains by the afternoon. Once the changeover to rain occurs, look for heavy bands to move onshore and create some small scale flooding issues. (By the way, I've created a snowfall map for this storm but it's basically just for the higher terrain)
My biggest concern for this storm isn't snow or even rain; it's wind. The jetstream is forecast to be unusually low and unusually strong overhead this storm tomorrow. As a result we are likely to 'mix down" some gusty winds. This is particularly true along the coastline where gusts could hit 55 MPH. In my experience power outages begin around 50 MPH (45 MPH with all the leaves on the trees but we are past that), so we could have some issues there by tomorrow afternoon. The peak of the winds will be around 2 PM over southern Maine and more like 7 PM over Downeast.
The heavy rain and wind end on Friday night as the storm stalls out overhead and weakens.
Since it will still be kind of hanging around (it's actually becoming what we call "vertically stacked"...a process by which a strong storm essentially kills itself off by wrapping warm air all the way around the low and weakening) through Saturday look for mostly cloudy skies with scattered snow showers, especially in the higher terrain. All and all, however, the weekend looks quiet with a partly sunny and breezy day forecast for Sunday.
Monday looks quiet and sunny with a cold Christmas Eve likely as temperatures dip into the teens and single digits overnight.
Right now I'm keeping Christmas partly sunny and dry but there is a chance for some light snow late in the afternoon. Nothing big, and the computer models have yet to agree on it, but it could be good for the mood if nothing else.
Ok I'm out of here...how much do those present wrappers at the mall charge again?