Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Gray ME
932 am EST sun Dec 21 2014
high pressure builds over northern Maine Sunday...allowing the
flow to turn onshore. A weak weather disturbance may trigger some
flurries or light snow over southern regions right through Monday.
A significant low pressure system system will gradually organize
Wednesday...before moving over the Great Lakes. This could bring
windy conditions and the potential for heavy rain around Christmas
evening into early Christmas morning.
Near term /through tonight/...
have updated grids to raise probability of precipitation from slight chance/chance to
categorical...at least for this morning. Low level moisture
continues to deposit snow across southern New Hampshire and far western
Maine. Will forecast 1 to 2 inches of snow for today as some areas
will remain near a mile visibility in snow. Some higher reflectivity
returns in the Rochester New Hampshire area as well will pinwheel slowly to
the NE. This is in association with an inverted trough over
southern New England as of 14z with an upper level low slowly
crossing the forecast area today as well. Numerical models shift
precipitation south and east this afternoon...which is in disagreement
with the current radar animations.
Otherwise...just minor modifications to the rest of the grided
615 am update...just made some minor updates to sky
and temperatures based on current observation and trends...as stratus
remains entrenched across the region.
low stratus blankets the County warning forecast area as a surface high pressure in
southern Quebec is helping to keep moisture trapped in the low
levels. A weak shortwave that is passing over the southern New
England this morning and this may help kick off some light snow
across the far southern areas of New Hampshire and parts of
southwest Maine...as on shore flow supplies the low level moisture
the lift from this weak short may be just enough to produce snow
showers heavy enough to accumulate in some areas. As this weak
wave moves east our flow...although very weak...will turn to
northwesterly and this may be enough to start clearing out some of
the low stratus Sunday night.
Short term /Monday/...
flow will Switch Back to on shore by noon on Monday and this will
bring light ocean effect snow or maybe even some light rain or
even freezing drizzle into the interior as temperatures will hover
close to freezing as you get away from the coast.
Long term /Monday night through Saturday/...
models continue to trend toward upstream and downstream
blocking...with an eventual return to a +pna pattern at
500mb...which would signal cooling late in the period. However
all the action will be in days 3 to 5 as the upstream develops and
sends waves into trough over central Continental U.S....amplifying the 500
Initially...will be dealing with smaller scale feature as
inverted trough over the Gulf of ME work its way onshore Monday night
and weakens. May be enough dynamic forcing for ice crystals
initially...so rain or snow showers move onshore and inland during
the evening...but could see it turn to dz/fzdz as we we just
transport water droplets onshore. We maintain an onshore flow into
Tuesday...but it looks like forcing will be limited to
upslope...so thinking more in the way of shsn/shra/very light snow
inland...with just clouds on the coast. Should see temperatures on Tuesday
warm into the upper 30s to middle 40s.
The main event remains the impressive 500 mb trough that develops
over the central Continental U.S. Middle week...not so much in that it is very
deep...but more its amplitude as it extends from north of the Great
Lakes southward into the Gulf of mex....and then tilts very negative and
lifts poleward Wednesday night and Thursday. Not sure how much an effect
convective scaling issues are having on the models...but it may be
having some effect on the forecast details...but probability not the
generalities of the forecast. However...00z Euro and GFS both show
a weaker surface low in the vcnity of the Great Lakes and St Lawrence
Valley /although it does intensify further north and east than previous model
runs. Still...as that wave lifts northward will see triple point develop
over the middle Atlantic Wednesday evening...and lift north-northeast into the County Warning Area by Thursday
morning. This will create a deep southerly flow which will connect
with Gulf moisture...allowing for significant rainfall...from
late in the day Wednesday...into early Thursday morning. Quantitative precipitation forecast looks to run
around 2-3 inches in many spots...but S-southeast upslope areas of the
foothills and mountains could see an inch or two more...so the threat
of both flash and mainstem flooding is a concern...especially
since this will be combine with significant snowmelt as highs
rise well into the 40s Wednesday..and will likely stay there Wednesday night
There is still the potential for some strong gusts...but given
weaker system...the window for opportunity will be limited to a
fe hours ahead of the triple point passage...which looks to be Wednesday
evening...at least for now. With all that said...we are still dealing
with days 4 and 5 of the forecast...with the potential fro some
deep convection in the base of the trough...so forecast could
change...but both Euro and GFS picked up the signals of this
system early...and have been consistent on the whole so far.
Christmas day will see rain ending from SW to NE during the
morning...with some partial clearing possible in the
afternoon...and temperatures in the 40s again. Cooler air will move in
from the SW Thursday night. Friday and Sat look mostly dry /other than
possible upslope shsn on Fri/. Highs will continue to run a few
degrees above normal.
Aviation /15z Sunday through Thursday/...
short term...MVFR to IFR ceilings will remain over the region
through at least Sunday evening. Conditions may improve a bit
Sunday night as the on shore flow drifting moisture inland will
get shut off. Conditions will not stay up long however as the flow
will Switch Back to on shore on Monday bringing another round of
MVFR to IFR ceilings.
Long term...possible periods of MVFR to IFR Monday night as
inverted trough moves inland. MVFR likely to hold Tuesday into
Tuesday night...lowering to IFR late Tuesday night into Thursday
morning in rain...with increasing east-southeast winds Wednesday.
short term...a few wind gusts continue just below 25 kts this
afternoon...with waves 4' or lower...therefore no flags in the
near term. Winds should continue to slowly decrease tonight into
tomorrow from the northeast.
Long term...high pressure with light and fairly calm seas will
persist through the period and no flags are expected.