Another Winter Storm Begins Today

Hello everyone!

Another winter storm is on our doorstep this morning, and what this one will lack in ferocity it will make up in longevity. Light precipitation is already falling across parts of the area this morning, mostly in the form of rain as several days of southerly winds have finally pushed temps above freezing across most of the area outside the mountains.

Rain will continue on and off through the midday/early afternoon hours with only the higher summits enjoying snow. However, a powerful cold front lurks just to our northwest over the Saint Lawrence Valley and will arrive on the scene later this afternoon. As the front pushes south, rain will give way to a myriad of messy frozen precipitation.

The lower elevations up in the mountains will change over to snow starting mid afternoon, and the rain/snow line will crash rapidly SE reaching the Belfast-Brunswick-Fryeburg corridor by 8 PM or so. That’s where the advance of freezing air will slow to a crawl aloft while continuing near the surface. As a result, expect a corridor of notable sleet/ice from the Midcoast into Cumberland/York Counties and southern NH.

At the moment, it looks like the near-surface cold layer will be more than deep enough to refreeze falling raindrops into sleet. That’s great news for trees and powerlines, but tough news for shoveling. Sleet is extremely dense (about 2″ depth for every 1″ of liquid) and extremely slippery (small balls of ice that like to roll around) so take extra care when removing it from your outside surfaces. The area to watch for ice will be southern York County and southern NH, especially south of 101. Up to a quarter inch of ice may accumulate here which is starting to knock on the door of potential power outage issues.

Farther north, this will be an all-snow endeavor once the changeover happens this afternoon. The mountains should get a solid foot of snow with higher totals up above 3.000 feet where the changeover will occur earlier today. Most of the foothills, especially northeast, should come in between 8-12″ while the coastal plain gets a messy mix of 4-8″ initially as sleet before changing over to snow later tomorrow. The event will end with snow across the area which will give points south of Portland a quick 2-4″.

-Jack

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