All posts by Jack Sillin

I’m a third-year atmospheric science student at Cornell University who has been blogging about the weather since 2011. While I’m not officially a meteorologist, I have accumulated a bit of experience forecasting both local weather (in western Maine and New Hampshire) as well as national/international weather during my time writing for weather.us and weathermodels.com. I also have experience programming in Python, teaching concepts in weather forecasting, and communicating forecast information to general audiences.

Clearing Out and Turning Cooler Today

Hello everyone!

A cold front is on its way offshore this morning and winds across the area will flip around to the northwest shortly if they haven’t already done so. Most of the precip associated with this system is now off to our south though some sprinkles can’t be ruled out over the next couple hours in southern NH. Skies will start off overcast across the area today but will clear from northeast to southwest midday, with the exception of the usual mountain upslope spots. Despite the sunshine, your high temps are whatever you’ll step out the door to this morning. That’s about 20-25 inland and 35-40 closer to the coast. By sunset, the mountains will be approaching the 0 mark with 10s in the foothills and low 20s along the coast. NW winds will be breezy but should remain firmly in the nuisance category of 20-25mph outside exposed spots in the higher terrain.

-Jack

Milder Today With Light Snow Up North

Hello everyone!

Today will feature milder temperatures and some light snow in the north/mountains as a clipper system approaches from the west. We’ll be on the southern side of this system meaning warm air will be moving in on southwest breezes. As per usual, this effort will be most effective along the Midcoast, CT Valley, and southern NH while the foothills/mountains and our reasonably fresh snowpack keep colder air locked in farther north. With that in mind, look for highs in the low 20s in the mountains, upper 20s to low 30s for most of the foothills, and mid 30s farther south. The Midcoast peninsulas, where a SW wind is somewhat onshore, could get up above 40.

Any time warm air is overtaking cold air, we have to think a bit about precipitation. The clipper is producing some light snow to our west this morning, but it’s a bit short on moisture. As a result, snow will be steadiest up in the mountains where up to an inch or maybe two could pile up. Farther south, flurries are possible especially this morning but they won’t be of any consequence. A few foothill towns might see a brief period of freezing rain/sleet as warm air is able to advance more effectively farther off the ground.

-Jack

Quiet, Cool, and Breezy Today

Hello everyone!

Today will feature quiet weather with breezy WNW winds and cool temps. Look for the usual upslope/downslope pattern with clouds and maybe some flurries in the mountains while the coast is clear and dry. This afternoon, mountain clouds will gradually dry up. Temps will range from around 10 up north to around 25 along the coast.

-Jack

Strong Winter Storm Crosses The Region Today With Snow, Sleet, Rain, and High Winds

Hello everyone!

Yesterday’s update gave a good primer on the winter storm we’re experiencing this morning but here’s my latest expectation of what will happen based on observations this morning.

Radar imagery and mPING reports (which anyone can submit via their app or Radarscope and are invaluable to us forecasters as well as researchers!) show that the rain/snow line has advanced through coastal York County as well as the Midcoast peninsulas and is now making progress on coastal Cumberland County. Just inland, heavy snow is falling at a rate of 1-3″ per hour. So any slight delay in the warm air would result in substantially higher snowfall totals.

Along those lines, it’s 21 degrees in Lewiston this hour which is just a little cooler than model guidance projections (31.7F). As per usual, the low-level cold air is holding tighter than models suggested.

That said, the warm air is still expected to win the day especially just off the ground as low pressure tracks well to our west. Above-freezing air may struggle to make it inland at the surface (and I think it will), but not many of our mountains poke up above 5,000 feet where the bulk of the warm air is coming in from today. That’s why we’re likely to see a broader swath of mixed precipitation develop in the foothills over the next few hours.

Closer to the coast where warm air makes it all the way to the ground, southeast winds will be rather strong. Current guidance suggests sustained winds over 50kts (60 mph) lurking only a couple hundred feet up and a/or a few miles offshore. The strongest winds will be felt along the Midcoast along and south of Route 1. Gusts in the 50s will be widespread, 60s shouldn’t be too uncommon, and low 70s certainly can’t be ruled out. With such gusts coming from the southeast (the direction from which our trees are most susceptible), expect power outages to ramp up quickly this afternoon.

The storm’s first cold front (it has two) will move through the region from south to north during the midday/early afternoon hours. Behind it, any low-level cold still stuck in the foothills will be scoured out and some breaks of sun are possible. With sunny breaks, south-southwest winds, and very cold air moving in aloft we’ll have to start thinking about instability and the possibility for convective showers. These will be most widespread west of I-95 and could bring bursts of small hail and/or graupel in addition to heavy rain and gusty winds. They still look a little too shallow for thunder though.

It’s during this part of the day that temps will peak in the low 30s up in the mountains, mid/upper 30s in the foothills, and low/mid 40s along the coast.

The secondary cold front sweeps through after dark with winds flipping back to the west. A band of showers is likely to accompany this boundary, starting as rain and ending as snow. Accumulations should be capped at a dusting. Colder air will then rush in from the west, freezing any residual standing water and causing icy conditions.

Yesterday’s snowfall forecast still seems fine for the most part, though a few spots near Manchester NH have cracked 4″ thanks to heavy banding this morning. Keep in mind that most of whatever falls east of I-95 and south of Fryeburg will get washed away in the rain/warm temps coming in a few hours.

-Jack

Quiet Today Ahead of a Storm Tomorrow

Hello everyone!

Today will feature the calm before a storm as high pressure slides offshore and low pressure gathers strength in the southern Appalachians.

Look for clear skies across the area today before high clouds start to filter in this evening. As winds flip around to the south, low clouds may move onshore a few hours early especially east of Brunswick, possibly bringing a few ocean-effect flurries. High temps will range from around 15 up north to around 30 along the immediate midcoast, though high temps there won’t occur until after dark.

Snow will break out overnight, and with cold air in place everyone will start off with at least a little bit of snow. That said, this storm will be tracking up the Hudson Valley which puts us on the mild side, especially aloft.

By sunrise tomorrow, it should be raining along the coast east of the turnpike if you’re south of Portland and south of route 1 if you’re farther up the coast. That means whatever slushy dusting or couple inches piled up in the wee hours of the morning will be promptly washed away. Moderate to heavy snow will be falling inland.

The core of the storm pushes through between 7AM and 1 PM tomorrow. The rain/snow line will push inland and slowly break into a snow/sleet line (quickly races up towards the mountains) and a rain/sleet line (gets stuck in the foothills). Closer to the coast, winds will pick up out of the southeast and are likely to become strong enough to warrant fairly serious power outage concerns. The Midcoast could gust up to 65mph with 55mph gusts more common farther southwest. Intense winds are also likely on the northwest slopes of the mountains where downsloping could also push gusts towards 50mph.

The storm’s first cold front pushes through midday, shutting off the steady/heavy precip. Behind it, cold air rushes in rapidly aloft but more slowly at the surface. That will set up some instability and allow for scattered showers to develop especially southeast of the mountains. These showers may contain graupel or small hail in addition to heavy rain and gusty winds. At the moment I don’t think updrafts get strong enough for lightning but a rumble can’t be totally ruled out. We’ll see what the data shows tomorrow morning.

As far as snowfall accumulations, mostly this isn’t one to write home about. The mountains should see a solid foot. If you’re planning to chase this one for skiing, Sugarloaf is the place to be as mixed precipitation will be briefest there. Snowfall amounts will taper quickly as you go southeast with most of whatever falls along the coast quickly getting washed away by the subsequent rain.

I’ll have another look at this storm in tomorrow morning’s update.

-Jack

Cold Today

Hello everyone!

One really only needs one word to sum up today’s weather: cold.

A shot of Arctic air is rolling through the region today behind a powerful storm bringing blizzard conditions to Nova Scotia. Gusty NW winds and subzero air temperatures will send wind chills well into dangerous territories this morning. As of around 6 AM, it feels like 20 below in Portland, 25 below in Lewiston, and 40 below in Jackman. That’s a pretty solid midwinter cold snap! Living in the great state of Maine you know the drill. Throw on another flannel, pour that extra cup of coffee, and don’t try to wake the car up too early.

Aside from the chilly temps, it will be a pleasant day with clear skies and no precip expected.

-Jack

Cloudy, Windy, and Turning Colder Today

Hello everyone!

Today will feature widespread cloud cover, strong north-northeast winds, and falling temperatures as a powerful storm intensifies offshore. Tragically this will be happening about 150-200mi too far SE to bring a blockbuster blizzard to Maine. If that’s what you’ve been dreaming of, there’s (probably?) still time to hit the road for Halifax.

Here on the northwest edge of the storm, temps will rise briefly this morning, into the mid 30s along the coast and mid 20s in the mountains, before plunging nonstop this afternoon/evening/tonight. By tomorrow morning, it’ll be 10-20 below up north and +/- five down south with a howling northwest wind sending wind chills well below zero. Wind chill warnings are up for the foothills and mountains where it’ll feel like forty below tonight and tomorrow morning. Milder conditions are expected near the coast with wind chill values only making it 25 below zero.

-Jack

Milder and Generally Quiet Today

Hello everyone!

Today will feature milder temps and generally quiet weather as the core of our most recent Arctic airmass pivots off to the east. Look for southwest winds to develop later this morning which may become rather gusty near the coast. As warmer air moves in, clouds will be the norm rather than the exception today, though southern NH and far SW Maine could see several hours of brighter skies this morning. Most of the precipitation associated with this warm front will remain to our north today, but snow showers are expected in the mountains. Accumulations will be trivial.

High temps today will range from around 20 in the north to around 30 along the coast.

-Jack

Cold Today

Hello everyone!

Today will feature that classic mid-winter bone-chilling tick-killing (at least we hope) cold I always look forward to in the depths of summer. Temps are within a few degrees of zero this morning along the coast and about 10 below up in the mountains. With strong NW winds pushing colder air in our direction all day, expect temps to rise only by 5-10 degrees, with the best rises found at the coast. That means high temps will range from around 5-10 below up north to 5-10 above along the shoreline. That’s pretty solid cold! On the bright side, the sun should be out across the area throughout the day.

-Jack

Turning Colder Today

Hello everyone!

After a restful break (well, not for Mother Nature), it’s time to dust off the forecasting chair and get back into the swing of things. The weather has decided to look for a fresh start too, sending some chilly Canadian air to sweep yesterday’s warmth back to where it belongs: Bermuda. Look for gusty west winds today with the usual upslope/downslope pattern for clouds and precip. The mountains will stay coldest, in the upper 10s, under mostly cloudy skies with frequent snow showers. The coastal plain has the best chance of some sunshine, especially this morning, with highs getting up into the mid 20s.

This afternoon/evening, an Arctic front will cross the region bringing our first real blast of cold air for the season. Temps will tumble rapidly overnight with gusty northwest winds. Along the front itself, snow showers will pick up and squalls could escape the hills and make a run for the coast. Thankfully from an impact perspective, this should happen after the PM commute, but if you’re out later in the evening be prepared for changing conditions.

Bitter cold will settle in for tomorrow with high temps a few degrees on either side of zero. Tis the season!

-Jack