Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Caribou, ME

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FXUS61 KCAR 161416

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Caribou ME
916 AM EST Tue Jan 16 2018

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.


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.


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`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


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.


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.


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.


ME...Winter Weather Advisory from 11 PM this evening to 11 PM EST
     Wednesday for MEZ011-015>017-029>032.



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