Nice Friday and Latest on Weekend Storm

1:39 PM, Feb 22, 2013   |    comments
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I remain confidently aboard the "This storm isn't a blockbuster" express, and I expect to see others jumping on the bandwagon shortly as the newest computer model data continues to trickle in. (By the way, I underdid the forecast for our blizzard early on and was shocked I didn't get much hatemail about it. Turns out the people who were mad about it where just waiting for their moment to strike. I posted I didn't think this storm was a blockbuster yesterday on Facebook and was met with several "Yeah that's what you said about the blizzard!" responses. I can honestly say I respect their patience and dedication to the hating game haha)

It'll be a plowable snow for southern Maine, but I remain unimpressed in general.

Rest of today: Mostly sunny and pleasant. There is some high thin cloud cover spilling in from the southwest, but this shouldn't do much more than create a milky sky look by the afternoon. Temperatures are fairly mild, in the mid to upper 30s.

Tonight: Mostly clear early but becoming partly to mostly cloudy by midnight. Otherwise pretty quiet with temperatures in the teens to low 20s.

Saturday: There will be some early morning glimpses of sunshine, particularly from Bangor northward, as high thin clouds struggle to spill in from the southwest. Meanwhile look for mostly cloudy skies over the southern third of the state with the cloud cover becoming thicker as the day progresses. The transfer of energy between the inland low over the Great Lakes and the coastal low to our south will begin by noon so I can't rule out some snow showers during the afternoon over southern and western Maine as those areas will be basically right in the path of the energy transfer. The atmosphere is stacked such that those snow showers should be fairly light however, so travel looks fine during the daylight hours. North of the Midcoast I expect no precipitation at all during the day, and even some breaks of sun here and there. High temperatures will be in the mid to upper 30s.

Storm Specifics:

By Saturday night there will be a coastal low pressure system to the east of the MidAtlantic moving north-northeastward towards New England. That's all well and fine but the latest data has really locked into a more eastward track for the low, never bringing it anywhere near Cape Cod, MA (a good benchmark for a nice storm in Maine)...and as a result, pretty far from us. The combination of this less than favorable track and the fact that this low will NOT be a mega-bomb like the last two we've seen, keeps me on the "moderate storm" track.

Timing: As I mentioned, there will likely be some snow shower activity over southern and western Maine during the day on Saturday but the first more solid bands of snow/rain move in around 10 PM-Midnight over southern Maine. The snow shield moves steadily southwest to northeast through the evening, reaching just south of Bangor by 5 AM Sunday morning. The heaviest bands of snow actually look to fall during the afternoon over southern and Midcoastal Maine with the event wrapping up by about 9-10 PM on Sunday evening. The reason I'm more specific with southern Maine: They are the only ones to get into some heavier bands of snow, Bangor and certainly up to Millinocket will see just lighter snow from the morning through afternoon.

Amounts: This is going to really scare you: With this more easterly track, most of our snowfall accumulation will hinge on an inverted trough setting up (See. NORLUN trough. Also See: Keith's Biggest Bust Ever.) Once the low moves to our east all the computer models indicate a strong band of snow developing between the coastal low and the remnants of the inland low located over upstate New York. That feature gives Portsmouth, NH to Belfast a good shot of snow through the afternoon on Sunday and into the early evening. Without this trough we are looking at a widespread 2-4" event, that's it. I get it..I know what happened with the last inverted trough, but this one makes a lot more sense to me so I'm going to include it in my forecast and keep the totals in 5-9" range because of this precipitation booster.

Other Notes: This will be a much wetter, denser snow compared to what we've seen with the past few storms. That's because the "boundary layer" temperatures will be pretty mild, allowing for a lower liquid to snow ratio. There could even be some mixing with rain along the coastline in the early stages of the storm.

And as far as wind: It will be fairly light considering. With the low so far offshore, the windfield will also stay well away form us. Winds shouldn't exceed 35 MPH at any point.

Clearing skies are likely on Monday with a decent day on Tuesday and warmer temperatures.

Our next storm arrives Tuesday night/Wednesday. That looks like an inside runner so it will be a mix to rain along the coastline with some snow inland.

After that there is an upper level low for the ages set to park itself over the Northeast...this thing is HUGE. That could mean one of two things for next Thursday through the weekend: One epic storm or snow showers and light snow for several days in a row. I'll keep an eye on it for you.

Twitter: @KeithCarsonWCSH


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