Sunday, December 16, 2007

12/15/2007 Snowy Sunday

Even for Maine, this snowstorm is supposed to be unusual for this time of year and it's supposed to be a big one. Check out the article below that describes the impending storm, discusses why it's unusual, and uses the word "wicked" as a superlative (a common Maine practice, but I always thought of it as slang and was surprised to see it in print in the newspaper outside of a quote).

We walked to church this morning instead of driving since the roads weren't plowed yet. I was up for the adventure The snow was pretty light and not too deep, but there was enough of it that I was very glad to finally arrive at church and get out of it. During the service you could see out the window that the flakes were getting bigger and the quantity of falling flakes was increasing. I was glad to take Patty up on her kind offer of giving us a ride home.

Snow could turn to sleet

Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel 12/16/2007

Here we go again. Another winter storm promising snow, sleet and howling winds was bearing down on the state Saturday night for arrival in central Maine sometime this morning.

By the calendar, it's not even winter yet.

And according to John Jensenius, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Gray, the track of this latest batch of winter weather could mean a change-over to sleet this afternoon, which could mean lower snowfall totals and some wicked travel conditions.

He said 6-10 inches of new snow and sleet can be expected by tonight in Kennebec County, 8-12 inches in southern Somerset and Franklin counties with up to 18 inches in the mountains.

Coastal and interior Waldo County can expect 4-8 inches.

"We expect snow to develop across central Maine probably early in the morning -- 7 a.m., something like that," Jensenius said. "At this point it looks like snow will mix with sleet and freezing rain along the coast and actually mix with sleet in the interior sections as well."

The powerful coastal storm began forming over the Carolinas Saturday night, then rapidly intensified as it moved northeast up the eastern seaboard this morning.

Moisture is forecast to collide with Arctic air, spreading snow up through the entire state.

By noon today, the snow will just be reaching northern Maine and several inches will have accumulated over southern areas of the state, according to the Weather Service. Temperatures are expected to remain in the teens and low 20s, with mighty wind chills making it feel like 6 or 7 below.

Jensenius said the culprit in any possible change- over is warm air being dragged in above the cold air that is already solidly in place.

"What is happening with the storm moving right along the immediate coast, is the winds out ahead of this storm are bringing warmer air in aloft -- between about 7,000 and 10,000 feet," he said. "That warm air aloft is causing the precipitation to change from snow to rain as it falls through that warmer layer and then eventually as it gets into a colder layer, it refreezes back into sleet or when it reaches the ground, possibly freezing rain."

If the track moves further east -- off the coast -- more snow can be expected, he said. Further west, inland, could mean more in the way of sleet and rain.

The intense weather maker is expected to move out of the region tonight.

Strong northwest winds will develop as the system pulls away, creating lots of blowing and drifting snow in all areas on Monday. Winds could reach 10-20 mph, with gusts to 25 mph, Jensenius said.

Central Maine Power Co. is preparing for possible power outages due to ice and blowing snow, company spokesman John Carroll said Saturday.

"We are expecting high winds and lots of snow, which could be heavy and wet along the coast," Carroll said in a statement. "This combination can be tough on our crews and equipment.

"People see the damage storms like this can do and they understand they can cause outages. Our crews will be there to put things back together, but we hope people will also take some simple steps to keep themselves safe and comfortable."

CMP offers customers some simple steps to stay safe and comfortable if power outages do occur.

•Keep battery-operated flashlights and radios on hand.

•Stock up on supplies of drinking water.

•Keep a supply of non-perishable foods.

•Never use grills or camp stoves indoors -- they can give off dangerous gases.

As is common practice during potential storm situations, Carroll said CMP has been in touch with utilities in other parts of New England and in the Canadian Maritimes to discuss mutual needs and capabilities.

Retrieved 12/15/2007 from

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was hoping you were going to post about the Christmas festivities or the excitement of it approaching in the town. Or... anything else you might have wanted to share! I've been enjoying reading your blog! Its nice to read such a descriptive narrative about a certain town and place. Continue to post. Someone appreciates it.