A storm capable of causing impassable roadways for much of the state starts Sunday afternoon and lasts through Monday evening. The effects of heavy snow, strong wind may linger well into the week for some as power outages are likely across coastal and interior Maine. While it may not be historic, it has potential to rival the late January blizzard of 2015.
If you have not done your last minute errands I will humbly suggest to you to do so before the 3:00 PM hour for southern and western areas and by 6:00 PM for northern and eastern zones. Snow showers are likely before those times, but the heavier snowfall is not expected until around mid to late afternoon.
Above is a model suggested idea for snowfall total as of 7 AM Monday showing a solid foot or so for most of the coastline and the southwest interior. This is totally in the realm of possibility. As I mentioned in my Saturday update snowfall rates of 1-4″+ per hour are likely through the morning and into the afternoon.
If you absolutely must go to work, put chains on the tires of your vehicle. If you don’t have chains, find a hotel near your workplace and stay there Sunday night. Stay with friends or family if that is an option. Driving will likely be close to, if not impossible for several hours. Plows over the blizzard warned areas are not going to be able to keep up with this one, and road crews north of the blizzard warned areas will have their work cut out for themselves as well. Snowmobile is likely the way to go, but I am not one to endorse their operation on public roadways.
With wind speeds in the 30-40 mph (gusts to 60 mph) for the coast and 20-30 mph (gusts to 45) over the interior, wind chill values appear likely in the single digits above and below zero for the state for much of the day.
Given the shear volume of snow, a reminder to keep air ducts clear and if a generator is needed to make sure ventilation is free from snow.
The storm is on track to end Monday evening from west to east. The only issue with that is northwest winds are going to continue to blow snow around Monday night into Tuesday afternoon. While the storm may be over, drifting of snow is going to be an issue for 18 to 24 hours after the event.
I have revised the projected snowfall map a bit to reflect model trends in the past day.
The track has shifted a bit north. This has added the idea of more snowfall for the Crown and the rest of the region.
The threat of a coastal front impacting final snow tallies for the immediate shorelines as waned a bit. The islands from Penobscot Bay southwestward through the MidCoast and Casco Bay may see an hour or two of rain, and Rockland cannot be ruled out of that either. The Kittery / Portsmouth area up through Ogunquit / Wells may see a bit of rain also. This is likely to occur Monday morning, and will likely be short lived. A solid chance of 18″ at least still exists.
For the higher terrain from the High Peaks region over to Baxter State Park, the idea of 18-24″ of snow is a possibility. This range posted above is a general idea for the lower areas of the region. Don’t worry ski country, you’ll cash in on this one.
As I mentioned in the Saturday update there will be banding with this event. Some areas that experience the heavy bands will have higher snow totals. I totally expect to see final reports of 30″ or more of snow out of this, but due to blowing and drifting of snow, I don’t see that as widespread
There is also a chance for thundersnow for the coastline, with the best chance over Down East areas. The southwest coast may see a flash, but the eastern side of the storm dynamically has a much better chance.
As for bust potential dry slotting, as I mentioned previously still remains a possibility. Anytime a storm rapidly intensifies like this one, there is always the risk of dry air working into it. This is a low chance given the amount of moisture it has to work with, but there is a chance nonetheless. This may knock a few inches off the snow totals, but it may not be noticeable.
As with any storm of this magnitude, the element of surprise is always there. Every storm is unique, and while models give ideas, end results can be overwhelming and underwhelming pending on location and dynamics. No forecast is perfect as there is no way of beating Mother Nature at her game.
One last thing… while doing clean ups, make sure you shovel your roof if necessary…
We could be dealing with a similar system Wednesday night into Thursday.
For now, we deal with what is in front of us.
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!