Before the weekend storm was over people were already talking about another event for Tuesday.

It still looks like there’s going to be a storm system for tomorrow, but the good news for those of you who aren’t ready for more wintry weather just yet is that most of the snow will fall in the mountains. That said, there could be a window of frozen precipitation Tuesday morning during the commute that will cause some slippery travel.  Timing is everything and any wintry weather during a commute can be a problem.

I often talk about the track of a storm system as being key to the amount of snow we get but it’s also important for whether we end up on the warm or the cold side of a storm. Tomorrow, a low-pressure area will move up through New England and stay to the west of the coastline. The right side of low-pressure areas have southerly winds that pull in milder air from the ocean. This time of the year water temperatures are still in the 40s so any trajectory of wind off the water will quickly change frozen precipitation to liquid.

The inland track of this storm will keep most of the snow well away from the coastline. Tropical Tidbits

However, because cold air is heavier and denser than warm air, sometimes the cold sticks around just long enough, as the precipitation begins, to cause some snow or freezing rain.

Tomorrow morning, the forecast is tricky.  If the warm air moves in quickly enough then greater Portland won’t see very much snow or freezing rain. But if it holds on for even just an hour or two longer, roads can quickly become hazardous.  Either way, the city itself won’t have much snow.

 

Snow will be confined to areas west of the coastline Tuesday. Dave Epstein

BUSTED FORECAST?

If the cold air hangs on longer than I am expecting then the immediate coastline gets more snow, as would inland areas.  This isn’t likely, but with weather it’s something to watch.

The storm as it departs will pull down a blast of the coldest air of the season so far. Tuesday night and Wednesday everything will freeze rock solid, so although the snow will be quite slushy at the coast and foothills Tuesday it will be like a brick Wednesday morning.

Cold air rushes in behind Tuesday’s storm. College of DuPage

ARCTIC CHILL COMING

Temperatures both Wednesday and Thursday will average 10 to 15 degrees below normal. There could be a couple of snow showers Wednesday morning, but generally this will be a very dry air mass. As the cold relaxes a bit on Friday, another low-pressure system will move up  the coastline and threaten New England with more snow. I am using the word threaten because it’s not a sure bet. As a matter of fact, at present I would say we will miss the snowstorm but it’s coming close enough that it’s possible we may end up with accumulating snow sometime Friday or Friday night.. This is a 5-day forecast and things can dramatically change.

Whatever happens on Friday there will be some modification of the cold heading into the weekend as temperatures get back into the 30s and above freezing, which is seasonable for this time of the year.  

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