The bitter cold pattern in place is showing no signs of letting up.

New Year’s Day was the coldest in 75 years in Portland, which had a low temperature of minus 17 degrees, according to  the National Weather Service in Gray. Portland’s previous Jan. 1 record was minus 12 degrees – set in 1957 and 1964. And Portland’s high temperature of 10 degrees on Monday also broke a record, for the coldest high for any New Year’s Day. The previous record for coldest high for the day was 13 degrees, set in 1957. The records are based on weather service data beginning in 1941.

Arctic air will remain in place through Tuesday. A slight moderation in temperature is expected Wednesday, when highs should hit the low to mid-20s.

The question we’ve been receiving over the last several days: Will the bitter cold and a storm line up at the same time? There was one opportunity last weekend; it fizzled. The next opportunity (Thursday) looks more likely.

A storm will form over the ocean and will become big in both size and strength. The question is its track, which is still unclear a few days out. While a direct hit for all of Maine is unlikely, it won’t take much of a westward shift in the storm’s track to put all of us in line for heavy snow.

The track of the storm will determine how much snow moves into Maine.

Snow won’t be the only factor. It looks like this storm may have an impressive wind field, too.

At the moment, eastern and Down East parts of the state have the highest risk for significant snow and wind, beginning Thursday morning and lasting through Thursday night. However, with cold air in place, all of the state has a decent chance of at least some accumulating (plowable) snow.

More specific totals will be out Monday night or Tuesday morning once the storm’s track comes into focus.

After the storm pulls away, arctic air reloads and returns for next weekend. It could be record-breaking again.

Stay warm!

Ryan Breton
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @RyanBretonWX

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