A nor’easter is poised to hit southern and central Maine for the start of the workweek, and heavy snow, rain and wind are on the menu. You might think a nor’easter means just heavy snow, but in actuality the term is used for low-pressure systems that move up the coast, bringing winds coming from the northeast.  

Rain and snow moves into Maine Monday night and continue into Tuesday

Rain and snow move into Maine on Monday night and continue into Tuesday. Tropical Tidbits

During our upcoming storm, strong winds will buffet the coastline. This has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a gale warning along the coast. Winds will be strongest Monday evening through much of Tuesday. Winds will be sustained at 30 to 40 mph during this time, but gusts could reach 45 mph in some coastal waters. Seas will build to between 10 and 18 feet. 

Strong winds over southern New England on Monday evening may also affect Boston’s Logan Airport. Although the high-wind warning isn’t posted for Boston, winds will still be strong there. There may be flight delays Monday evening.

A difference of just 3 degrees will be the difference between heavy rain and wet snow. This will be something to monitor Monday.

The other significant aspect of the storm will be the heavy rain. Coastal areas could see over an inch of rain. The map below shows how much rain or liquid equivalent is expected from this storm. This means I am showing the water content of the snowfall in addition to rain.

Lots of moisture is on the way Monday night and Tuesday

Lots of moisture is on the way Monday night and Tuesday. Dave Epstein

“What about ice and snow?” you might ask. Interestingly, the track of the upcoming storm is quite ideal for snow. The problem is, even with the perfect track, you still need cold air. The lack of winter cold means more rain than snow, at least at the coast. Inland areas will see a plowable storm of heavy wet snow. This could cause power outages from the heavy wet nature of the snowfall.

Snowfall will be heaviest in the foothills and the mountains

Snowfall will be heaviest in the foothills and the mountains. Dave Epstein

You should expect some showers, mist or drizzle in the next 24 hours, through Monday morning. The heaviest precipitation will take place Monday evening through Tuesday morning. The Monday evening and Tuesday morning commutes will be most affected. Tuesday evening may be slow, although precipitation will end during the day.  

The nor’easter is followed by a pair of springlike days, during which sunshine will be abundant, along with mild temperatures, in the upper 30s. I don’t see any compelling pattern change to bring any major snowstorm to the area for the foreseeable future.

I will be updating the forecast on Twitter @growingwisdom.

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