Clear and cold today as arctic high builds in

Hello everyone!

Today will feature clear but cold conditions as an arctic high pressure system builds in. Expect mostly sunny skies with the majority of the cloud cover for the area confined to the mountains and SW areas this evening as our next storm approaches. Highs will be in the 20’s north and 30’s south.

today 12-2

Our next storm system moves in tonight and into tomorrow morning bringing a mix of rain, sleet, freezing rain, and of course snow. Expect 2-4″ of snow for the mountains along with .1″ of ice, 1-3″ inland with .1″ of ice and a Dusting-1″ at the coast with a trace of ice. Not all that significant in terms of amounts but nonetheless, the roads tomorrow morning will be bad to say the least. Everyone flips over to rain midday Wednesday as precip wraps up. I may or may not have another post on this tonight depending on how the forecast changes.

-Jack

Mild today as cold front approaches

Hello everyone!

Today will feature mild conditions across the area as temps soar ahead of a cold front. Expect highs in the 50’s along the coast and 40’s inland. The mountains get stuck with 30’s. The front will bring along plenty of pesky low and mid level clouds although I think almost everyone sees sun by sundown, with the possible exception of the immediate coast.

today 12-1

Another update comes tomorrow morning.

-Jack

A look at the week ahead

Hello everyone!

This evening I will take a brief look at the week ahead as our up and down temperature ride continues. Full updates at the normal time make a return tomorrow.

A cold front will cross the region tomorrow morning but deep cold air will lag behind a bit thus leading to a pleasant day overall across the area. Highs will range from 30’s in the mountains to 50’s on the coast.

Deep cold air moves in for Tuesday and brings fair but chilly weather with sunny skies and highs in the 20’s and 30’s for most areas. NW winds could be biting at times so watch out for windchills.

Wednesday brings our next chance for active weather with warm air surging northward once again. With deep cold air in place, expect a period of light snow/sleet/freezing rain/rain across the area Wednesday morning. Highs will range from the 20’s inland to 40’s at the coast.

Thursday is our next cool day with highs tumbling back into the 20’s and 30’s under mostly sunny skies. Tuesday looks to be a good analog day for Thursday and thus windchills could be a factor once again.

Friday continues the quiet but cold streak Thursday started with highs in the 20’s and 30’s under mostly sunny skies. A few clouds may approach the area in the evening as our next potential storm approaches.

Saturday and Sunday are very uncertain at this point. There are indications some sort of precip will impact the area however it is still unclear if this will be rain/snow and even if it will happen at all so stay tuned throughout the week as this becomes more clear.

Another update comes tomorrow morning at the usual time.

-Jack

Looking Back: Comparing the Forecast to Reality

Hello everyone!

Today, while the weather is cold and quiet, I will take some time to look back on how I did with the forecast for our most recent storm. I will also look back on what I did well and where I went wrong and why.

The Forecast:

snow map 11-25v3

I put this map out 48 hours before the event and stuck with it all the way through.

What Actually Fell:

000

According to the NWS, this is what actually fell.

Region By Region:

The mixing along the coast that was forecast panned out well. Most coastal areas fell into the higher range of the 3-6″ forecast with interior Casco Bay seeing higher totals, as forecast. The only area that underperformed at the coast was Rockland where only 2″ fell. The only significant overperformers were in York county where an unexpected 12+” fell.

Overall grade for the coast: B+

Inland areas lined up very well with the forecast with most areas seeing the 10-14″ forecast. There were a few 15-16″ amounts but overall they were very isolated and most areas verified well.

Overall grade for inland areas: A

The mountains were the weakest area this storm with only some areas south of Rangely seeing the forecast 3-6″. There were widespread 6-8 and 8-10″ amounts near Jackman that were not forecast. Despite the fact that the forecast totals were not expected when just referring to the snowfall map, the discussion from Wednesday morning did note the potential for higher amounts in the mountains

“One thing I should note is the potential for higher amounts in the mountains. Models have pushed the strong frontogenesis band I talked about earlier farther north in recent runs and that could raise snow totals for the ski areas.”  From Wednesday Morning’s discussion.

Overall grade for Mountain areas: B

Overall, I think the forecast was pretty good for the area. I have isolated the culprit behind the blown mountain forecast, the strong frontogenesis band that the models did show but I did not have enough confidence in to change the map. The one true area of surprise was in York county where nothing pointed to 12″+ amounts, though those did fall. Very strong banding was likely responsible for those totals although more mesoscale influences like terrain or location of measurement could also have played a part.

Overall grade for the area: A-

I’ll be back later in the day tomorrow with a look at the week ahead. Brief recap of tomorrow’s forecast: Cold and mainly clear, highs 26-34.

-Jack

Inverted trough to bring light snow this morning

Hello everyone!

Odd timing on this update I know but wanted to bring to your attention the presence of an inverted trough that will bring light snow to the area today. It is currently snowing across southern coastal areas and expect that to continue this morning. Accumulations shod be in the 1-3″ range and should end by 10am, earlier SW and later NE.

After the trough departs, expect partly to mostly sunny skies with temps in the 20’s north, 30’s south. Looking ahead, there are no major storm threats in sight. A warmup of sorts looks to be in the cards for early december.

I’ll continue to update daily here but updates may be at odd times. Normal operations resume Monday the 1st.

-Jack

Quiet weather returns for turkey day

Hello everyone!

After a few days of much excitement, we can catch a break today with quiet weather. Overall quiet conditions are expected today with mainly clear skies along the coast, and some clouds and flurries possible in the mountains. Highs will be in the 20’s for most, 30’s coast and south. Winds will start out brisk but will diminish as the day goes on. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

I’ll be back tomorrow.

-Jack

Nor’easter beginning to spread precip into the region this morning

Hello everyone!

Our long-awaited storm is coming to fruition this morning with heavy rain bands already impacting SE MA. Should you need to travel this morning, do it now as conditions will rapidly deteriorate this afternoon/evening.

The forecast timing is mostly intact although precip is arriving a little earlier than expected should that factor into your travel plans. Precip should start as rain for most (even the bullseye areas of Central MA are seeing rain now) but should quickly change to snow once heavier precip and dynamic cooling takes over.

One important change from last night is that models are now in almost unanimous agreement on very strong mesoscale banding developing across the region. This is largely due to a very strong strengthening of the thermal gradient with height (frontogenesis). The sensible application to this complex idea is that when you have a lot of frontogenesis, you have a lot of heavy precip.

0Z GFS Frontogenesis IDEA. Credit: Accuweather
0Z GFS Frontogenesis IDEA. Valid 7 PM this evening. Credit: Accuweather

If you want snow that is thumping away and piling up fast, this is what you want to see. Something like this indicates that very strong banding will set up over coastal Maine as well as the foothills of Maine extending down into NH. By this time, temps will be cold enough for all snow, and if for whatever reason they aren’t, this will knock them down pretty quick.

On the other hand however, the cold air has been just a hair slower than expected in moving into the region. This leads me to believe that some areas may have  a slightly harder time going over to snow, especially along the coast. Due to the harder time changing over and the strong banding signals canceling out, I am inclined to leave my snow forecast intact. Keep in mind, those numbers are a range of estimates. Some areas, especially along the immediate (within a mile or two) may fall into the lower end of the scale.

snow map 11-25v3

One thing I should note is the potential for higher amounts in the mountains. Models have pushed the strong frontogenesis band I talked about earlier farther north in recent runs and that could raise snow totals for the ski areas.

I will have more updates on twitter today and depending on conditions, may or may not have another update here. Next update for sure will be tomorrow morning.

-Jack

Reliably hype-free weather info for Western Maine and New Hampshire from amateur forecaster Jack Sillin

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