One of my students from Colby texted me last night with a picture off his cell phone showing 12 to 18 inches of snow this weekend for the central Maine region. Now, I can certainly get a forecast incorrect, but I think those kind of numbers are way out of line with what I am seeing this weekend. If you are traveling north, you should expect more wintry type weather in that part of New England, but a foot and a half of snow seems highly unlikely.
The setup this weekend involves 2 low pressure systems. The first will bring primarily liquid precipitation, while the second could bring a bit of snowfall even here in southern New England.
The first low pressure area brings precipitation to the region early Saturday. Temperatures tomorrow morning are going to be cold enough, well inland, to see some freezing rain prior to any rain. The highest risk of icy conditions will be west of Route 495 and north into southern New Hampshire. If you are traveling to go skiing this weekend, bring the foul weather gear and expect the driving to be slow heading into the mountains.
I expect about a half to an inch to an inch of water through the weekend. This won’t be enough to cause anything more than some big puddles on the roads if the storm drains haven’t opened up.
The recent mild weather has likely created a gap between where the snow meets the storm drains. Therefore, even if you can’t see the entire drain still, there is probably enough room for water to flow into them.
The second storm, which is the one that could bring snow back to the area, forms Sunday morning near Cape Cod. From there, it moves northeast. This track will pull cold air back into the region and allow the rain to change to snow or, if there has been a complete stop in precipitation, simply allow snow showers to develop.
The questionable part of the forecast is how far south snow develops. A likely scenario; northeastern Essex County and northeastern Middlesex County see some snow accumulate Sunday morning. There could be a coasting to perhaps 2 inches in that part of the region. The rest of us escape with little more than snow showers, which will trend towards just plain rain showers, later Sunday afternoon as temperatures warm further.
There is an important caveat. If the storm develops even further east than expected, no one will see any accumulation of snow or if the storm develops further south, then accumulating snow could will shift further south into Boston. Even at worst case, greater Boston won’t see more than a slushy coating or inch. I think the chances are greater for less snow rather than more.
Next week brings seasonably cool or mild conditions depending on your perspective of 40 degree air. I still see another push of arctic air around Wednesday. Since it’s mid-March, arctic air no longer means widespread below zero readings, but we could see another sub-freezing day or two during the middle of the week. The melting continues, but at a very slow pace.
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