Heavy Rain And High Winds Arrive Tomorrow

Hello everyone!

We’re heading into a period of active weather this week and our first storm is up tomorrow. This one is tracking to our west and thus we’re on the warm side. This will be an all rain event with temps soaring into the 40’s. Winds will also be extremely strong gusting near 60mph at the coast.

Overview

12Z GEM Showing Low Pressure Moving To Our West (Black Arrow) And Heavy Rain Over Our Area (Red Circle). Image Credit: Weatherbell
12Z GEM Showing Low Pressure Moving To Our West (Black Arrow) And Heavy Rain Over Our Area (Red Circle). Image Credit: Weatherbell

Low Pressure is developing over Arkansas right now and will move NNE tonight through tomorrow while strengthening. This storm will drive a cold front through the region tomorrow night.  Ahead of the front, look for heavy rain, strong winds, and warm temps. Conditions behind the front look cold and windy as arctic air moves in. Now that we’ve set the stage, lets dig into the details.

Rain

18Z GFS Showing A Region-Wide 1-2.5" Rainfall. Credit: Weatherbell
18Z GFS Showing A Region-Wide 1-2.5″ Rainfall. Credit: Weatherbell

Rain will move in tomorrow morning and will become heavy by early afternoon. In terms of amounts, a general 1-2.5″ is expected with the highest amounts falling in areas where heavy rain is enhanced by upsloping SE winds. Any SE facing slopes are at risk for the 2-2.5″ totals. With the snowpack being marginal at best, widespread flooding isn’t likely but some rivers and streams could run high enough to cause minor issues in any usual trouble spots. A flood watch is out for much of the area due to this threat.

Wind

12Z GFS Showing Very Strong Winds Just Above The Surface. Credit: Accuweather
12Z GFS Showing Very Strong Winds Just Above The Surface. Credit: Accuweather

I think the biggest story will be the winds. The map at right is the winds just above the surface, NOT winds at the surface. The numbers on the map are knots so the winds between 2,500 and 5,000 feet are hurricane force. NOT all these winds will mix down to the surface by any means. That being said, winds will be very gusty as heavy rain helps to transport winds aloft down to the surface. Winds along the coast especially NE of Portland are likely to gust over 55mph. This could cause a few isolated power outages so watch for those if you usually see darkness during storms like this. All in all, not a massive windstorm but some branches are likely to come down and could cause a few issues. Also be sure to secure anything that might blow around outside (sleds, shovels, etc).

Other Impacts

There could be some thunder in the heaviest precip. Nothing crazy but that’s not something we usually hear here in Maine in January especially with rain (thundersnow happens sometimes with strong Nor’easters but rarely to we break enough into the warm sector for thunder).

On the back side of the storm, cold air will be rushing into the region on strong NW winds. Look for subfreezing air to blast into the area Monday and any leftover puddles will freeze. As a result, look for slick roads Monday and Monday night.

SE winds will be strong tomorrow but won’t last for a long time. As a result, coastal flooding impacts should be minimal. Some splashover/erosion is likely and the usual trouble spots could see some issues but no major impacts are likely.

Cold air moves in Monday and lasts through the week with snow threats midweek and next weekend. Those are still far out so details will have to wait to be figured out.

I’ll have another update tomorrow morning. I’ll also have updates through the day over on the Facebook page.

-Jack

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