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A Rough Travel Day Ahead Of The Thanksgiving Holiday
Low pressure forming off the Georgia / Florida coastline will make its way northeastward Wednesday. Cold air pouring in from Canada will meet the storm as it progresses, which will cause snow to fall over much of the Northeast corridor. Regardless of what means of travel, Thanksgiving Eve is going to be a rough one for many in the area.
Storm To Impact All Of Western Maine By Mid-Afternoon
This is an updated graphic from our friends at AccuWeather over the projected time frame of the event. Word to the wise: the earlier you can get on the road to your holiday destination, the better off. With Thanksgiving Eve traditionally the busiest travel day of the whole year, traffic will be force to contend with as it is; add a storm like this and it makes for much more of an adventure. If you can’t get on the road ahead of time, prepare for long, slow moving traffic on the major highways. Slushy roads are going to be a force to contend with.
Potential Storm Track
By 7 PM Wednesday, the storm appears to be positioned just south of Cape Cod near the 40° N / 70° W benchmark point. Most guidance is on board with a track close to Cape Cod, into the Gulf of Maine and clipping the nose of Nova Scotia its way into the Bay of Fundy. Because of that, coastal areas from MidCoast into DownEast Maine are likely to see a period of mixing and/or outright rain early Wednesday evening before changing to snow. For coastal areas south of Rockland, there is a slight chance for mixing, but by-in-large this is a heavy wet snow event.
Wind & Heavy Wet Snow May Bring Power Outages
As with any of these types of storms, wind is always a factor and this one is no different. Given the fact that heavy wet snow and enough of it will be a factor, wind may cause branches to fall, causing spotty power outages in areas. The worst of the wind appears along the coastal plain between 7 PM Wednesday and 1 AM Thursday. With the forecast track, MidCoast areas are the most susceptible for higher wind gusts.
Also with the wind, is the direction of it. Most northeasterly winds Wednesday afternoon shift to a more northerly direction Wednesday night. The main precipitation shield appears to hit the region between 6 PM (Southern) and 9 PM (Capital District / MidCoast). With the northerly winds pouring in from Quebec, this will likely rob the mountains out of some snowfall. At this point, it does not appear that the heavier precipitation will advance too far beyond the Fryeburg to Livermore Falls to Waterville areas. There will still be snow falling in the mountains & foothills, just not as intense as it appears to south of that line.
Updated Snowfall Prediction
The predicted snowfall map has been fine tuned after reviewing model data. As for reasons I have mentioned, I think the mountains lose a certain amount of snowfall due to the dry northerly winds, along with factoring in the main precipitation field and storm track. South of the foothills into the coastal interior, storm totals of 10-12″ are possible in spots. Due to the high water content of the snow (roughly 7 or 8:1 snow to water ratio) that will likely keep snow depths on the downside. If this were a colder, more drier snow, many areas would likely see a foot of snow. Coastal areas east of the Maine Turnpike over southern areas and south of Route 1 may see a brief period of sleet, along with a very pasty, slushy mess, which accounts for slightly lower totals in that region.
As with any of these events, there is always a “surprise” factor. Coastal areas (Scarborough to Belfast) will be very close to the most intense snowfall. Any subtle changes in forecast track will bump totals upward. This forecast track is not completely set in stone.
Western Maine Weather Five-Day Outlook
After some morning flurries, the rest of Thanksgiving Day appears to remain mostly cloudy & cool. The first of three very chilly nights leads into Black Friday when a weak wave slides through the region that may kick of a flurry over the mountains and coastal areas. A bitter cold start to Saturday makes way for high cirrus clouds dimming the sun, with clouds on the increase late in the day. A southwesterly flow develops early Saturday night and warmer tries to work in aloft, which may touch off some flurries & squalls. The holiday weekend rounds out with a mix of sun & clouds for most areas, with a slight chance of a sprinkle and more clouds than sun in the mountains.
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Forecasts can and do change. Please consult with the National Weather Service and local media for the latest information.