Messy Friday Afternoon

12:07 PM, Apr 12, 2013   |    comments
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For most it was a fairly quiet morning; a few rain showers, sleet pellets or flurries...that's about it.

No it's not a busted forecast (unfortunately, if I MUST be wrong I'd like it to be about a late season snow event), a big mass of snow/sleet and rain is racing rapidly northeast through Maine.

Today: The current radar picture shows sleet, snow and coastal rain moving into southern and western parts of the state. Something that really stands out to me is how unusually large the area of sleet is on the radar. Typically you see narrow bands of sleet with rain on the east side and snow on the west side, but in this case there is so much warm air aloft that the snow is melting and then refreezing into sleet pellets near the surface on a nearly statewide level. This large area of sleet will push northeastward through the day, reaching Bangor by mid afternoon and then pushing into northern Maine by late afternoon/early evening. The coastline is actually starting as plain rain in many spots right now, but as the intensity of the precipitation picks up that will act to cool the air down and transition coastal locations over to a mixture of rain and sleet. Still, accumulation near the ocean will be minimal, it's inland that we are still looking for a solid 2-4" of snow and sleet with 3-6" in the foothills and mountains. (Admittedly it's hard to forecast snowfall amounts with this amount of sleet mixed in. There's no real good "moisture to sleet pellet" equation out there and sleet is notoriously hard to accumulate in large amounts. Ok maybe only "notorious" amongst the people I associate with. Read: Sir. Weather Weenington III).

Tonight: By early evening it looks like some colder air will get pushed down into the system, allowing for a transition to just plain snow over central, northern and Downeast Maine. Snow could be moderate at times through the 7-10 PM timeframe. Meanwhile southern coastal spots that had been hanging on to sleet will switch back to plain rain as the intensity dwindles there. The precipitation will slowly become more showery in nature after midnight, but northern Maine will continue to deal with snow and sleet right into the morning on Saturday. Southern Maine will be on the opposite end of the spectrum, becoming largely dry by sunrise.

Saturday: From Bangor northward to Caribou snow and sleet will still be ongoing when you wake up, as the storm slowly pulls away to the northeast. It's a different story for southern and central Maine, however, with mostly cloudy morning skies giving way to some breaks of sunshine by 11 AM-noon. After that look for a fairly pleasant afternoon for 2/3 rds of the state with only north of Millinocket dealing with snow showers through 3-4 PM. High temperatures could creep (do the creep ahhhh!) to near 50 over southern Maine, but will stay stuck in the low 40s north of Bangor.

A round of rain and snow showers will move through on Saturday night as the parent low that was previously attached to today's storm moves across northern Maine. We will hang on to that setup for Sunday so look for a mixture of sun and clouds with a chance of coastal rain showers and mountain flurries. Precipitation should be light but there appears to be too much instability around for me to give us a dry forecast.

All and all the weekend won't be BAD, but I'd say the best part appears to be Saturday afternoon as we are in between systems.

Monday looks like a gem with high pressure in place and temperatures hitting 50 F in most spots.

Our midweek forecast hinges on the position of a large scale warm front. Where does it stall? If it's to our north we will be nice and toasty, if it stalls to our south we will be....wait...does this sound familiar yet?

At this point it looks like Wednesday/Thursday is our best chance to "torch out" as the wx weenies like to say.

Not #Lockitin worthy yet.

Twitter: @KeithCarsonWCSH




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