A few inches for most, more Downeast

8:35 AM, Feb 17, 2013   |    comments
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If I were forecasting this snow for another part of the country I might make a bigger deal of it, but Mainers are a tough bunch and this definitely qualifies as "A Maine Dusting" for most of us.

With a low pressure system deepening rapidly offshore look for periods of light to moderate snow through much of the day. The coverage of the snow is greater right now, during the morning, than it will be for most of the day as the precipitation shield will slide towards the coast as the parent low moves further out to sea. Most spots will pick up between 2 and 4 inches off accumulation through this entire event with the northern Midcoast and Downeast picking up a more substantial 4-8."(There is a map) Due to the "banding" nature of this event it wouldn't shock me to see isolated 5" if a band stalls out, but 2-4" should cover the vast majority.

The perception of the snow today, however, may be skewed to seem like a more dramatic event because of the gusty winds. Winds will be steady at 30-35 MPH with gusts up to 50 MPH possible. As a result even moderate snowfall rates will greatly reduce visibility. THAT'S why there is a Blizzard Warning in effect for Downeast Maine this afternoon/evening. It's not because of the amount of snow (remember a "Blizzard" has nothing to do with accumulation), but instead because of reduced visibility with the strong northwest winds.

Snow wraps up tonight for 80% of the state but continues over Downeast Maine just due to the curvature of the coast putting them closer to the low as it moves away from us. Winds continue to be strong out of the northwest, making for a very cold evening with drifting snow.

Monday will be a bright but windy day. After a few morning clouds skies will turn mostly sunny by noon at the latest but the pressure gradient between the departing storm and the approaching high to the southwest will net us winds gusting up to 40 MPH through the entire day. Air temperatures won't actually be that bad, upper 20s to low 30s, but the windchill will be a big factor.

Tuesday will start out with some sun but clouds will rapidly increase from west to east through the day as a front approaches. A generally light mixture of rain and snow will develop by late afternoon/early evening. Since there is a warm front involved here I think the coastline will push back and forth between rain and snow with mainly snow from 50 miles inland back into the mountains. There isn't a ton of moisture to work with so look for maybe a few inches of accumulation (2-4" ish again) before conditions clear out Wednesday morning.

It looks pretty quiet, but very breezy, for Wednesday and Thursday. The computer models are still hinting at the chance for a storm sometime on Friday or Saturday. So far the agreement has been pretty awful though so I wouldn't lock that snow in yet.

Something I learned today while doing my forecast on air: One of my favorite "Maine-isms" I've picked up since moving here is the phrase "Up Downeast." It's perfectly nonsensical to anyone outside Maine, but makes all the sense in the world to us.

Twitter: @KeithCarsonWCSH



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