Snow To Start The Work Week
The forecast has been fine tuned over the last 48 hours in order to present a clearer idea of what to expect around Maine on Monday. Areas away from the immediate coast can expect a fair amount of snow with this event. The closer to the shorelines, the more wet and slushier the snow appears to be as a coastal front forms to change the snow to rain before ending. Further away from the coast, the colder the air, the lighter & fluffier the snow will be. It is the differing snow to water ratios that will play a factor in the total accumulations for this storm.
Mainers can expect slick roads for the morning commute in most areas, with conditions improving for southern & central regions by the evening commute. Coastal areas get the slush as warmer air advances off the ocean, which is likely to make travel dicey in areas.
Forecast Confidence Better, But Questions Remain
In my previous discussions on this event, I mentioned the chance of a coastal low forming, and that does appear to be the case. In any situation such as this, there is always the element of surprise. Surprise in the case that a coastal low forms earlier or later than models indicate, which will have an impact on accumulations.
An earlier forming coastal low (offshore of York County), the increase of added snowfall for the western interior, MidCoast on up through DownEast areas. A later forming coastal low (MidCoast, Penobscot Bay), lesser amounts are possible for the western foothills.
The newly formed low appears to move briskly across the Gulf of Maine and is expected to be east of Halifax, Nova Scotia by 1 AM Tuesday morning.
Given the factors at play here with this event, this snowfall forecast map encompasses all of the ideas mentioned. Some areas may not meet the low end ( later forming coastal low) and others may exceed the high end by an inch or two (earlier forming coastal low). Guidance is in agreement that 1-3″ will have fallen by 7 AM in a line from Belfast to Carrabassett Valley south and westward. Timing for the changeover from snow to rain for the shoreline municipalities from Rockland to Kittery appears between 5-7 AM Monday morning. As the coastal low continues to organize, Penobscot Bay over to DownEast areas appear to see the change over by noon. Areas Way Down East (Machais, Lubec, Eastport) may not see the change over until early to mid-afternoon. All towns within 20 miles of the shoreline should expect some sort of mix or change over to rain at some point during this event.
If there is an area where this storm is likely to over perform with snowfall, it is eastern Hancock, eastern Penobscot, and Washington Counties away from the shorelines. If there is an area where this storm may under perform, it would be northwestern areas around Rangeley, northern Somerset, and northwestern Aroostook Counties.
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5:30 AM MONDAY UPDATE
Forecast remains on track for 1-3″ of snow for the immediate coast, 4-8″ elsewhere, with the chance of an isolated foot. As of 5 AM, reports of 2″+ over southern areas, with 1″ reported in Farmington.
Guidance is thinking that the new coastal low will form around Penobscot Bay by 10 AM and begin to intensify as it heads towards the Bay of Fundy. I expect interior Washington County to be on the high end of the snowfall totals, with 8-12″ expected there by the time the snow ends later today.
The end times for precipitation above show two different pieces of this system. The lines in pink show when heavier snow ends. The yellow shows the passing of a cold front early this evening which appears to flare up some spotty snow showers along the international border and High Peaks region. All in all it should be good to get around by the evening commute in Southern Maine, with conditions improving over central areas.
The state can expect snow showers Tuesday night into early Wednesday as a weak cold front slides through. This may bring trace amounts to as much as 2″ in isolated areas. The deep freeze comes late week as temperatures plummet into the single digits & teens Thursday, and then fall of the cliff Friday with single digits to near 10° for the shorelines to below zero for highs for the Crown of the state. Our next system arrives Saturday which at this time appears to be a plowable event, and its effects may linger into Sunday. Stay tuned!
~ Mike Haggett
Specil 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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