PORTLAND, Maine — Spring is about 10 days away, and there have already been a few signs: maple sugar houses are boiling away, songs birds are chirping again, and daylight saving time begins this weekend.
A large, spring-like storm will also blast through the Northeast this weekend.
The jet stream will dig pretty deep into the south, spinning up an area of low pressure and tapping Gulf of Mexico moisture, guiding both north on Saturday.
The track looks like an "inside runner" or a "coastal hugger." Both are warm tracks and favor rain over snow outside of the foothills and mountains.
Rain will break out first thing Saturday morning and become heavy at times, continuing into the afternoon. Rain amounts will top an inch, and with many rivers still filled with ice, ice jam flooding is possible.
While rain is the biggest player for most of us, snow will be a factor too. Arctic air will be held up in the mountains, where the snow will be flying for a while. But as the storm travels up the coast and the wind flips to the northwest, the flood gates will open up. Cold air will pour in flipping rain to wet snow in dramatic fashion tomorrow afternoon and evening.
Backside snow rarely overperforms. Overcoming mild surface air and wet roads is tough to do. So even though a flip to wet snow will occur, the accumulation will be limited along the coast. This will probably be a lot like Wednesday night's snowfall: roads remain wet and slushy with better accumulation on grass, decks, and tree limbs. This will also be highly elevation-dependent. Valley floors will see much less snow than hill and mountain tops. My hunch is we'll see some wild variations in snow amounts from town to town and a lot will depend on where the snow measurement is taken. The gas grill will be a more impressive total than the driveway.
All precip will taper off Saturday night, and sunshine returns for Sunday, but the wind will be making some noise.
Dense, cold air will allow for good mixing, and momentum will transfer down some pretty big gusts through the night and day. We're looking at gusts over 40 miles per hour and perhaps a few around 50 miles per hour. Due to heavy, clingy snow, the mountains and foothills will be vulnerable to power outages.
Make sure to check back later today with Jess and Mike for any adjustments.
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