Feeling Like Mid-Winter / Major Storm Possible

March 2017 is turning into a month to remember in Maine, and we’re only a little over a week in.   Remember how cold it was last Saturday?  It was the coldest day this late in the season in 67 years.  This Saturday actually looks very similar.  Before that though, an arctic front will move though Friday night. That front will be the focus for snow showers and squalls. An inverted trough may try to develop as well, producing localized heavy bursts of snow. I don’t anticipate this being a big storm,  but a few to several inches are possible in spots.

Portland’s record coldest high for Saturday is 23 degrees. I don’t see it getting that warm. To make matters worse though, winds will be gusting to 30 mph once again, creating subzero wind chills.  It’s nothing we can’t handle, just unusual for March. Bundle up!

Crocuses are know for being hardy flowers. I’m fairly confident Dave Banks  flowers in Wells won’t like Saturday’s weather though.

After the weekend, attention will shift toward our next storm. All the ingredients are on the table for a major storm to develop next week.  Based on today’s forecast, Tuesday through Wednesday morning looks to be the time frame to keep a close eye on for a significant Nor’easter.  The energy that will form the storm is currently in the Pacific Ocean thousands of miles away. I can’t stress enough, lots can change in 5 days,  and we’ll need to see how this all comes together.  Here’s what we’re thinking today.  On Monday,  we’ll be watching two separate lows moving east. One traversing across the Plains,  and the other in the Gulf of Mexico.

These two should merge off the mid-Atlantic late Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Rapid strengthening looks likely as the East Coast trough captures the storm,  and tracks it north.  In fact, there’s some forecast model guidance suggesting the Jet stream may try to “cut off” making for a slow moving storm into Midweek. Regardless, we expect the storm to be a mature Nor’easter tracking off of Cape Cod, and into the Gulf of Maine Tuesday night.

That would be a perfect track for heavy snow, and strong winds leading to near blizzard to blizzard conditions. A track and intensity depicted here would provide the potential for a foot of snow,  and winds gusting over 30 MPH. A change in track would change everything.   Again, this is 5 days away, and almost guaranteed to change some. That’s what the data is pointing towards today.  It’s worth mentioning, forecast model guidance is in remarkable agreement over 130 hours out. That’s something  you don’t see too often.

The recent stretch of spring like weather was nice.  It’s hard to remember March can be a snowy, and sometimes cold month in Maine. In Portland, March actually averages more snow than February  at 12.7″. The most memorable March storm occurred March 12th through the 14th 1993. It became known as the “Storm of the Century.”

It looks like another March 14th storm may be in the cards.   Stay tuned in the coming days, as lots can change.   I’ll have frequent updates on twitter and facebook.
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Charlie Lopresti

About Charlie Lopresti

Charlie makes up the "Weather Part" of CBS News 13s evening edition. A native New Englander, he grew up enjoying the area's exciting and sometimes wild weather.