Todd Gutner Blog - March Madness

While many of you are filling out your college basketball brackets, Mother Nature is about to unload her own form of March Madness (sorry, somebody had to make the reference).  

Low pressure will redevelop off the Mid-Atlantic tonight and barrel up the coastline tomorrow as a bona fide nor'easter.  The storm will blow up into a beast, tracking over Cape Cod, into the Gulf of Maine, then blasting into the Downeast coastline tomorrow night before weakening over the State on Wednesday.

Snow will begin by mid to late morning and then overspread the rest of the State through the early afternoon.  Snow intensity will ramp up quickly and conditions will rapidly deteriorate by the middle of the afternoon.

The worst of the storm will be tomorrow evening, simply put, we get crushed.  Snowfall rates will likely exceed 2" per hour for a time and thundersnow will be possible too.  Along with the heavy snow, gusty, potentially damaging winds will be cranking out of the NE and may top 40 mph.  Blizzard-like conditions will be occurring, travel will be incredibly difficult.

I mentioned last week that an out-to-sea track was pretty much off the table because of incoming energy in the Ohio Valley.  That same energy is still expected to tug on the surface low and there has been a trend to shift the track west over the last few cycles.  Based on the mid levels, I'm not surprised and I'm thinking some rain may mix in Downeast and perhaps even the York County coastline.  Regardless, this will be a wetter snow than what we're used to.  That, coupled with gusts that top 40 mph and power outages are definitely on the table. 

I have placed most of Maine and New Hampshire in a 12-18" zone except 8-12" for the spots that may mix with rain.  At this point, I'd say expect a foot of snow, you may receive up to a foot and a half.  I did toy with an 18"+ zone which I would have placed over interior York and Cumberland counties on up into the Oxford Hills, but I'll hold off for now based on lower ratios, the risk of dry slotting and a faster solution.  

Unlike a lot of March snowstorms, there won't be a big warm up following it.  Temps will stay below normal, in the lower 30s for the end of the week so this snow isn't going anywhere.  On top of that, there may be another storm threat next weekend.  

Another lobe of energy is expected to dive out of Canada and spin up a surface low off the coast.  The timing will play a huge role and the cyclogenesis may occur too late in the game to give us a big storm.  But more snow is possible later Saturday through Sunday morning.  The vernal equinox is less than one week away, but there are no signs that Winter is ready to throw in the towel.

Todd Gutner - https://twitter.com/ToddWCSH

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