The First Day Of Winter
As of 5:44 AM Wednesday, the winter solstice astronomically begins, and no huge surprise to see a couple chances for snow in the forecast for the state through early next week. Once again, we’ll see temperatures nudge up a bit more closer to normal for Wednesday. After a day of light snow on Thursday, the mercury continues its upward climb until Christmas Day, before it retreats to below normal levels the first of next week.
Wednesday appears to be another fair day for the region. Temperatures start off in the single digits / teens over interior areas and low 20s for the coast. Clouds will be a feature for the mountains and north during the day, with more sun south and east. A westerly breeze may add a bit of refreshment over the mountains and coastal areas, but wind will generally be light elsewhere. Highs for the day are on track to range in the 20s for the Crown and High Peaks, 30s for the south and east, with some shoreline towns reaching 40.
By sunset, high clouds will filter in over the state from southwest to northeast as our next system advances for Thursday. Overnight lows appear to fall to the teens for the interior and 20s for the coast.
What was showing to be another messy day of multiple precipitation types has modified considerably. Most areas will see some light snow, and perhaps a bit of rain mixed in along the islands and shorelines.
Timeline at this point is for light snow to overspread the region during the morning, and taper from west to east in the afternoon to early evening. Washington County & Southern Aroostook may see it hang on until around 9-10 PM or so before it exits into New Brunswick.
If there is an area where accumulations may exceed it appears to be northern Washington & Southern Aroostook Counties. The model trend over the past couple of days has been for lesser amounts as the storm is coming in considerably weaker than the model monster it appeared last weekend. The slopes in the High Peaks are likely to add a handful of inches of fresh power in time for the holiday weekend.
Highs for the day range in the 20s north & mountains, with 30s elsewhere. The islands and shorelines may briefly reach 40.
Thursday night, the storm clears the state and northwest winds pick up. This may blow snow around in areas and create some patchy slick spots by Friday morning. The last day of the work week starts off in the teens for the Crown and 20s elsewhere, with wind chill values in the single digits and teens. The breeze appears to drop during the day as the Thursday system moves further east. Skies appear partly to mostly cloudy overall for the day, with southern areas the brightest. Highs for the day range from the 20s north and mountains, 30s interior and 40s for shoreline towns.
The Holiday Weekend
Christmas Eve Saturday is on track to be a fair day for much of the state. There will be a fair amount of clouds around as an upper level trough and a weak surface front may touch off some Currier & Ives style snow showers in Down East areas. Any accumulation appears light at this point. Temperatures once again range in the 30s north, mountains and interior, with 40s along the coast.
Christmas Day Sunday appears mostly sunny for most of the region, with the High Peaks region seeing a few fair weather clouds. High pressure to the northwest appears to keep the storm over the Northern Plains out of the area until Monday. Highs for the day once again range in the 30s for the north, mountains and interior, with 40s for the coast.
To start the week, clouds appear on the increase with snow developing in the afternoon. Temperatures are on track to be much cooler, with highs in the teens north and west, 20s east and south. It is too early to get details on this. For folks travelling, it would be wise to keep watch on the forecast as the weekend approaches.
On that note, it is important to understand the recent volatility of models. The Thursday forecast is a classic example of where models seriously over amplified a storm, which at one point was offering a foot of snow in areas. Model reliability between 72 to 120 hours has been roughly 50% accuracy. From 120-144 hours they are running roughly around 30-40%, and these are my estimations. Forecast confidence wanes in the further days, so check in daily for any changes.
Thanks as always for your support!
~ Mike Haggett
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Special thanks to Tropical Tidbits and Pivotal Weather for their written permission to use their graphics in this post. Use of WeatherTAP images used within their written permitted terms of media use policy. Additional forecast information supplied by the National Weather Service, WeatherBELL Analytics and AccuWeather Professional.
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