4 PM WEDNESDAY UPDATE – A MATTER OF MILES
WINTER STORM WARNINGS for Central & Coastal Washington, Hancock, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Kennebec, Androscoggin, Cumberland and York Counties.
WINTER STORM WATCH for Southern Penobscot and Northern Washington Counties.
It’s a matter of mere miles for coastal areas which will determine snowfall. The afternoon guidance indicated a slight shift west for the track, which means the storm moves closer and thus more snow. The NAM model idea depicted above has inched closer to the state, and the European model concurs with the idea.
The snowfall map posted (see below) remains on track, however, I will forewarn you that as I usually mention, there is always the element of surprise.
To put it into perspective, the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts has issued blizzard warnings for the South Shore, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket due to storm track. Does this mean the Maine coast will? Doubtful. What could happen is the shoreline areas from Kittery to Portland to Belfast may end up with a foot of snow out of this. Penobscot Bay to Calais could conceivably end up with 12-16″ of snow by the time that it is all said and done. Coastal interior areas such as Sanford, Lewiston-Auburn, Augusta on up to Bangor may end up in the 6-10″ range.
The bottom line is two things: this is a moisture rich storm, and it will rapidly develop.
As we’ve seen already this winter, rapidly developing storms can get out of hand. That is a distinct possibility with this one. Be aware of that.
On the heels of the event which brought upwards of 6″ of snow and sleet to areas of the state, another storm heads for the region.
This storm, unlike the last appears to be an all snow event. Cold air falls in behind the exiting storm of Wednesday and holds over the region. With the storm track south and east of the traditional “benchmark” point of 40° north latitude and 70° west longitude, this turns into a coastal event.
With temperatures falling during the day on Thursday, this snow appears to be the lighter, fluffier type. The mercury at daylight appears to generally be in the teens north to 20s coast and tumble towards the single digits north and teens at the coast by sundown.
Snow begins lightly over southern areas around daylight Thursday morning, spreading into eastern Maine by mid-morning. Snow gains with intensity for southern areas in the afternoon, with heavier amounts impacting DownEast areas Thursday evening.
A gusty wind from the north at 25-35 mph is likely to cause the snow to blow around, which will cause drifting and periods of whiteout conditions along coastal areas and coastal interior sections during the afternoon into the evening.
The storm appears to end for southern and western areas by early evening Thursday, with the last flakes falling over eastern and northern Maine in the wee hours of Friday.
Behind the storm, the wind shifts to the northwest, continuing to gust at 25-35 mph Thursday night, through the day Friday and into early Saturday. This will allow for the new snow to continue to blow and drift around, causing areas of slick spots on roadways.
With the wind comes the windchill, which appear to range in the in the single digits to teens below zero during the day Friday, with values dropping to the -20s to -10s Friday night until the wind drops Saturday morning.
Another storm with the potential of snow and an icy wintry mix is possible Sunday into Monday. Stay tuned.
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.
Always Stay Weather Aware!