Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Caribou, ME

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330 FXUS61 KCAR 161416 AFDCAR Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Caribou ME 916 AM EST Tue Jan 16 2018 .SYNOPSIS... High pressure will move east of the area tonight. Low pressure will approach from the southwest later tonight and track across the Gulf of Maine on Wednesday. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...
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Update 9:10 AM: Have adjusted Winds, temperature, and dew point based on latest observations. No other changes. Previous Discussion... Flurries look like they will begin to wind down this morning. Clouds hanging on as inversion in place w/light n wind at the sfc and sw flow aloft. The cloud deck will lift this morning as the inversion weakens. The satl imagery showed more clouds set to move in today. The sfc analysis showed high pres nosing down from the n while a trof is setting up across western Maine. This trof axis will shift the ne a bit while and upper s/wv moves over the region later this morning. This feature will set off a round of light snow across the northern 1/2 of the CWA w/some light accumulation possible. The highest pops(40%) were situated across the northern and western Aroostook County where the best forcing appears to be located. The NAM and RAP guidance handled this feature well per the latest radar. Attm, decided to go w/less than an inch of snowfall. If the trend continues for more QPF, then snowfall amounts may need to be adjusted. This will be looked at w/the morning update. Temps this afternoon are expected to warm into the mid/upper teens across the north & west while central and downeast areas see low to mid 20s. For tonight, the upper s/wv exits to the e w/the light snow ending across the north and partial clearing taking place. This will allow for temps to drop down into the single numbers for the north and west before clouds move back in later tonight. Further s, clouds will thicken as low pres over the western Atlc lifts to the n. Snow is forecast to break out across the sw areas this evening and then spread to the ene as the night wears on. Attm, decided to bring the northern edge of the snow to the Houlton-Millinocket region. Using a blend of the guidance, decided to bring around an inch or so to the downeast and coastal region by early Wednesday morning(7AM). The short range guidance including the NAM/GFS and GEM hint at a coastal front setting up which would aid in convergence and could enhance snowfall. Clouds and snowfall will keep overnight lows across the Downeast region to hold in the teens and lower 20s.
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&& .SHORT TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT/... By Wednesday morning, the coastal front will be set up and snow will be in progress across the southern half of the forecast area. Both the track and QPF amounts are in better agreement amongst the major models with a low track along the Down East coast as reflected in our gridded forecast. This puts the heavier QPF towards the coast, but boundary layer issues along the immediate coast...especially for Machias towards Lubec and Eastport...means a decent chance of lowering snow totals there. With that in mind, am expecting a swath of 6 to 7 inches from southern and central Penobscot county eastward across Hancock and Washington counties. The onshore flow/boundary layer and lower snow ratios are factors for coastal Hancock and Washington, but if the low tracks a little further offshore, then these areas stand to receive 6 to 9 inches. With this in mind, will issue Winter Weather Advisories for the southern half of the forecast area. The criteria for a warning is 7 inches in 12 hours. While some areas may measure 7 inches...it`s expected over a period closer to 18 hours. Again, if the low tracks a bit further south, then a warning may be necessary in the coastal zones. Further north in Aroostook County, amounts will taper from around 5 inches at Houlton to just over an inch at Fort Kent. The storm is progressive and will move out quickly Wednesday evening. This is a relatively weak low and there`s not much wind during the event or Wednesday night on the backside. As a result, radiational cooling is more of a worry by later Wednesday night than blowing snow. Will go with single digits to low teens except in coastal zones and the concern is that temps could drop much lower with clearing skies, light winds and fresh snow cover. Temperatures will recover on Thursday into the 20s with some readings near the freezing mark on the coast. Radiational cooling is again the concern for Thursday night and have gone below guidance as winds could go calm. The only concern will be some low altocu/stratocu fields in northern zones. && .LONG TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... The long term for Friday into early Monday shows zonal flow, dry conditions and a warming trend. Temperatures will moderate each day from Friday into Monday. A weak warm front on Saturday will bring cloudy skies on Saturday and highs on Sunday above freezing across the entire area...including 40s for Bangor and the Down East region. A cold front will cross Sunday and introduce enough cold air to allow mixed precipitation to develop later Monday into Monday night. There`s still a lot of uncertainty regarding the timing on this system as well as the strength of the warm advection. Nonetheless, the probabilities look high for precipitation to become all rain at Bangor and mixed all the way to the northern border of the state during Monday night. Nearly all guidance is showing a storm track west of the state. && .AVIATION /14Z TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/... NEAR TERM: MVFR cigs this morning w/some flurries or very light snow. KHUL was down to IFR this morning w/vsbys down to 2 1/2 miles. Expecting MVFR to lift to a VFR by the afternoon as the inversion weakens. Conditions expected to drop to MVFR and then IFR as snow starts to work its way north overnight. The lowest cigs and vsbys will be down across KBGR and KBHB. SHORT TERM: Expect IFR to VLIFR conditions in snow on Wednesday into Wednesday evening. The duration of IFR vis will be less towards PQI and FVE. VFR returns Wednesday night into Saturday with tempo MVFR cigs north of HUL and a few snow showers...also north of HUL. && .MARINE...
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NEAR TERM: Update 9:10 AM: Have taken down the SCA for outer waters as seas have subsided below 5 feet. SCA for Hazardous Seas up through 10 AM for the outer zones. Winds have dropped off per the latest obs, but seas still up around 6 ft over the outer zones. Intra-coastal areas had seas down to 3-4 ft. Conditions will stay below SCA levels into tonight. SHORT TERM: A weak SCA is possible Wednesday into Thursday. A more solid SCA appears in the forecast for Saturday into Saturday night. No freezing spray issues or fog are expected during the period.
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&& .CAR WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
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ME...Winter Weather Advisory from 11 PM this evening to 11 PM EST Wednesday for MEZ011-015>017-029>032. MARINE...None
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&& $$ Near Term...Mignone

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