The region gets out of the deep freeze for a couple of days, but it will take a storm to do it. Warmer air slowly builds into the state thanks to a southerly wind flow, but not before snow falls over the interior. Northern and western areas are likely to have a slick ride to work Wednesday morning.
All in all not a bad day statewide most of the area starts off with at least some sun. Temperatures head north all day as a southerly wind slowly builds toward evening. The daily high temperatures are likely to be recorded just before midnight Wednesday. By that point, all areas are likely to experience some form of precipitation either in the form of rain or snow.
The challenge for this event isn’t so much in the form of freezing rain, but rain freezing on the surface. Now before you think I’ve lost my bearings, consider the situation. The deep cold over the past few days has reinforced the frozen ground. Because of that, it will take a while for road surfaces, sidewalks, walkways and parking lots to rise in temperature. It could conceivably be 34-36° for a temperature depending on how quickly the air temperature rises, and any rain could freeze on contact with the surface. Coastal areas start off with rain. The coast will be the first to experience this kind of effect. Folks traveling Tuesday evening need to be aware of this.
The good news is given the light amount of liquid this storm is likely to produce, the freezing rain threat is minimal. It is likely to produce a trace to a tenth or two, but that is likely to be atop of some snow. It will hardly be noticeable. The mountains and northern Maine see most of this event fall as snow, with perhaps a light ice before a brief change to rain at the end. Interior coastal areas may get a dusting to an inch of snow, but that will likely be washed away by Wednesday morning.
Precipitation ends with this storm for southern and western areas by around daybreak Wednesday. Northern and eastern areas by mid to late morning.
Snow country in the north and mountains get lucky this time. Any damage from the ice or freezing rain appears minimal, if any. Coastal areas will see what little snow pack take a hit, given that most of this storm will be liquid.
As this storm exits, a weak ridge of high pressure moves into the region to bring mild temperatures to the state. Wednesday afternoon highs appear in the 30s for the High Peaks and north to the 40s for the coast & coastal interior. With most of the state above freezing, melting is likely to occur. Many interior areas of the north and west will fall below freezing for a few hours Wednesday evening, which may cause slick spots to develop. A southerly wind flow develops in the wee hours of Thursday, which appears to pull most areas south of the Crown above freezing by daylight.
A cold front slowly drops down from Quebec on Thursday. The southwest flow is likely to make this event liquid for most areas to start, with spotty showers in the morning. High temperatures peak out around 1 PM Thursday in the upper 30s to upper 40s, with low 50s possible for Portland down to York County. Rain picks up with intensity again Thursday afternoon into the evening, ending state wide in the wee hours of Friday. It is at this point the mercury slowly tumbles over the next 30 hours to bottom out below zero for much of the region away from the coast, to the single digits above at the shorelines.
~ Mike Haggett
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