Showers this morning as storm moves out

Hello everyone!

Today will feature a few scattered showers this morning but other than that, the rain is pretty much done. The final day of our four day nor’easter saga will be front-loaded meaning most of the action will be in the morning hours. We might even see the sun late this afternoon! If not, don’t worry, everyone gets to soak up the sunlight tomorrow.

today 10-24

-Jack

Heavy rain and wind this morning

Hello everyone!

Today will feature day three out of the four-day nor’easter saga. Winds  are blowing hard this morning across the area with storm warnings up for the waters. No wind advisories are up for the coast but with the winds out there now, wind advisory or not, prepare for scattered power outages. 1,300 CMP customers are without power across southern Maine.

today 10-23

Here is the radar image from 5:30 this morning. I’ve marked off in the red lines the heaviest band of rain. Inside this band, storms are moving roughly west to east while the whole “train” of storms is slowly lifting north. This feature will affect us in the mid to late morning hours. Expect even higher winds in this band as heavy ran tends to mix strong winds aloft down to the surface. Thunder is a good bet as well then the band rolls through.

Rain will be steadiest and heaviest this morning through early afternoon before tapering to showers. Showers are likely tomorrow morning before moving out all together tomorrow afternoon.

forecast map 10-23

-Jack

PM update on Nor’easter

Hello everyone!

Our nor’easter is getting  going quite nicely over the region tonight. Winds are cranking across the area with gusts approaching 50 mph offshore. Anything above the trees will see very intense winds this evening as the low to our south really gets going.

As of now, the best rainfall is over the mountains but expect the folus to shift back towards the coast this evening. Storm totals of 2-4″ with locally higher amounts along the coast and in the mountains still looks on track.

bands and bands of rain

Expect bands of moderate to heavy rain to continue to rotate onshore this evening into tonight. This trend will continue through tomorrow morning before tapering off tomorrow afternoon. Expect high winds to continue as well slowly backing to the N tonight and evenually the NW by tomorrow afternoon.

-Jack

Wild wet and windy today

Hello everyone!

Today will feature a glum day two of our coastal storm which is still barely developed. Yes, over an inch of rain has already fallen in some areas and the storm hasn’t even formed yet. Today the storm begins its strengthening and as a result, the rain gets heavier and the winds stronger. Expect 20-25mph sustained winds with gusts exceeding 30 mph. As far as temps go, they will have to work HARD to get above 50 today in Portland. I don’t think the mountains make it to 50 and stay in the upper 40’s. Southern New England will make it comfortably into the 50’s.

today 10-22

We’re still on track for a widespread two to four inches but upwards of five inches could fall in one of three “bullseye” areas.bullseye areas

The three areas highlighted in green are where 5+ inches of rain could fall.

The rain is starting out light this morning but expect it to pick up as the day goes on. Tonight will be a wet one for sure as the storm pushes band after band onshore. Tomorrow morning looks similar but rain should taper off tomorrow afternoon.

Expect a repeat of today tomorrow with showers still hanging around on Friday.

-Jack

Day one of nor’easter today

Hello everyone!

Today will feature clouds and showers as day one of our nor’easter gets going. Even now, rain (and snow if you happen to be on Mt. Washington) is falling across the area in scattered shower form. This should how things go this morning, but by afternoon, a coastal front will set up and steady rain will overspread the area with heaviest amounts over southern coastal ME where the front sets up. Winds should remain light today as the cyclone itself is still undeveloped.

today 10-21

As far as the rest of the week goes, expect the heaviest rain to be tomorrow and tomorrow night but keep the umbrellas handy until Friday. Rain stays in the forecast until Thursday, clearing Friday, and back to bright Saturday. Check out the 7 day forecast here.

-Jack

Clouding over today

Hello everyone!

Today will feature the last chance this week for sun as we have a cut-off nor’easter to look forward to. More details on that below. Today however is shaping up to be pretty nice with NW winds slowly subsiding and temps rising into the upper 50’s. Clouds though will be on the increase with fully overcast conditions expected by sundown.

Today 10-20

The seven-day forecasts can be found in our new maps section.

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As for the Nor’easter slated to hit this week, expect periods of rain starting Tuesday evening and lasting through Thursday evening. Winds will also be gusty at times from the NE.

hpc qpf

Here is the official HPC QPF forecast for the next seven days (this storm is the only one forecast for the next seven days). I agree with them in that the bullseye should be in the NE corner of our forecast zones however I think 5″ is a little overdone. For now, expect widespread 2-3″ amounts with 4″ possible in NE zones and the favored upslope areas.

Rain moves out Thursday evening/Friday morning and clearing begins Friday evening. Saturday should be bright and clear with breezy conditions possible once again.

With such a long period of onshore winds, coastal flooding is always a big concern. While tides are astronomically high now, they are low by astronomical standards which should prevent significant coastal flooding. With that in mind, some splashover is likely at exposed areas. Also of concern will be beach erosion as wave action will be high during this period. Again, not something to be overly worried about but it is good to keep in mind.

-Jack

2014-2015 Winter Outlook

Hello everyone!

It is finally time for the 2014-2015 winter outlook to be released. Remember, as with all seasonal forecasts, confidence is low and nothing is etched in stone so to speak. Below, I will go into more detail as to the factors that are pointing me in the direction of the final forecast. I’ll try to keep it as non-geek friendly as possible but there are some parts that will be a little technical.

ENSO

One important factor in determining what conditions any given winter will bring is something called the El Nino Southern Oscillation which refers to the temperature of the water off of the Pacific coast of South America. When this area of the ocean heats up more than normal, an El-Nino event takes place. When this area doesnt heat up as much, a La-Nina event takes place. A weak to moderate El-Nino event is nearly unanimously agreed upon by the models for this winter.

enso

Here are the model forecasts for SST anomalies off of South America (SST anomalies are how much warmer or colder the water temps are compared to average).

El-Nino usually means warmer than average temps and less than normal precip over the Northern US and Cooler and wetter than normal conditions over the Southern US. Keep in mind however that warmer than normal temps doesn’t mean we will be basking in 50’s all winter long. The average temperature for the months of December, January, and February in Portland is 25.5F. Even a temperature of 25.6F would be above average. Same goes for snowfall. The point is just because it will be a warmer than average or drier than average doesn’t mean that there won’t be cold outbreaks or big snows.

North Pacific SST’s

While El-Nino a very important factor in determining winter conditions, it is certainly not the only one. The record cold and snow of last winter was caused in part by warm SST’s in the North Atlantic which caused ridging over Alaska and subsequently pushed cold air into the Eastern US.

SST 2013

Here are the SST anomalies for October 2-9th 2013. Notice the pool of warm water in the North Pacific east of Japan. This pool of warm water moved slowly east and spent most of the winter sitting off Alaska. This winter, a similar setup is underway except the warm pool is already firmly parked off of Alaska and is much greater in size and strength.

SST 2014

SST anomalies from October 8-15th 2014. Notice the expansive area of warmer-than-normal SST’s near Alaska. I see this as a big red flag that supports cold outbreaks this upcoming winter.

Current Snow Growth

Believe it or not, it is already snowing hard across the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. Lets take a look at the snow growth this year compared to years past.

snow growth

These maps represent October snow cover over the last six years. Notice that we are WAY ahead of schedule this year. Compare that to years past and notice that last year’s snowy winter was preceded by similar snow growth over the Northern Hemisphere. The warm and not snowy winter of 2011-2012 was preceded by well below normal snow growth.

smow growth anomoly

Here is the snow growth anomaly for 10-17-14 (the latest image available). Notice the above normal snow growth over Siberia and west-central Canada and below normal snow growth over Alaska. Also important to note is the below normal snow growth on either side of Greenland (Greenland isn’t shown because, for now, there is still snow there all year round). This pattern, along with the SST anomalies we talked about earlier favor western ridging like last year and a blocking high over Greenland (What prevented last winter from being even snowier was the quick storm motion caused by lack of blocking). The setup outlined here does in fact favor a snowy winter for New England.

NOAA’s Take

noaa temo

NOAA precip

I want to end with the official forecast from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. I agree with them for the most part however I think they are basing their forecast too much off of El-Nino. While at least a weak El-Nino looks likely now, remember, it wasn’t too long ago when forecasts called for a ‘Super El-Nino’ to develop this winter.

My Forecast

Based off of the information I have presented above, I think that we will see a near normal winter in terms of temperature – El-Nino should keep the bitter cold mostly in Canada – and a slightly above average winter in terms of snowfall. The CPC outlined their concern for an active Atlantic storm track in their precip outlook and I wholeheartedly agree. While I doubt this winter will be a record-setting one for our area for cold temps, I equally doubt its potential to be warm and snowless.

The active Atlantic storm track and the blocking pattern is already kicking into high gear with a nor’easter on tap for most of this upcoming week. I’ll try to get an update out tonight but if not, count on it tomorrow morning.

-Jack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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