GRAY — According to the weather reports late Thursday afternoon, there is a 70 percent chance that the next batch of snow will start falling on the Midcoast around 4 a.m. Friday.
By 7 a.m., that jumps to a 90 percent chance of snow and stays there for the next 24 hours. According to the National Weather Service, the bulk of the snow should be done by 10 a.m. Saturday, and is currently predicted to be over by late Saturday afternoon.
So, if you haven't already shoveled your sidewalk, driveway or a path to your propane/oil tank, you might want to do that before dinner tonight. You also might want to consider rearranging your schedule to accommodate another round of closings, cancellations and postponements, because the forecast is calling for as much as a foot of snow on the coast, and 8-10 inches inland, with just a little less across the entire state.
There is a winter storm warning in place for all of Maine, from 3 a.m. Friday, Jan. 30 through 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 1. Knox County Emergency Management Agency Director Ray Sisk said late Thursday that his information is that snow is expected to start in our area at approximately 7 a.m. Friday.
“It will start off a bit wet due to warmer temps [that are] expected,” said Sisk in the press release. “As temps drop during the day, snow weight will reduce and snowfall will increase somewhat. Some blowing and drifting [is] xpected late.”
Sisk said we should expect to see 1 to 3 inches on the ground by 4 p.m. Friday, and 3-5 inches by 7 p.m. Total snowfall for the area thru Saturday will be 8-14 inches. He also said that the next storm, which had been predicted earlier this week to arrive Monday, Feb. 3, should now pass south of Maine and not present any problems. But, he said, “European forecast model suggests another round of snow possible late next week.”
This storm is not going to bring the strong wind gusts of Tuesday's storm, and the blustery northwest winds, of 20-25 mph, won't arrive until Saturday and into Saturday night. Maximum wind gusts should top out around 30 mph Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service.
The good news is that Sunday is looking bright and sunny, but with a high near 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Friday's temperature will be around 33 F, which could make the snow a little wet and sticky at times.
Friday and Friday night are when the bulk of the snow will fall, which means Camden Winterfest should be a winter wonderland of flurries (hopefully) during the day Saturday.
The Winterfest schedule for Saturday includes a kickoff celebration in the Camden Public Library Amphitheatre from noon to 3 p.m., with community ice carving, live music indoors and out, crafts for kids and hot food. There is also sledding on the hill at Harbor Park, overlooking Camden Harbor.
Also Saturday, and continuing Sunday, Maine's only nationally-sanctioned snow sculpture competition will be ongoing on the Village Green, with judging at noon on Sunday.
The CamJam freestyle skiing and snowboarding demonstration and competition, originally planned for Harbor Park, will now be happening at the Camden Snow Bowl on Barnestown Road. Demonstrations and practice runs will be ongoing Saturday, with the competition kicking in Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.
This next storm won't be nearly as bad as the blizzard conditions Tuesday, so hunker down Friday and get ready for some fun outdoors Saturday and Sunday.
Related information courtesy Knox County EMA:
• On top of snowfall from Tuesday, snow loads on flat roofs will be increased from this storm. Residents should consider removing snow where possible.
• Use caution at intersections where visibility is reduced by snow banks. Some roads and sidewalks have not been completely cleared of snow from Tuesday. This new round of snow may aggravate that process.
• Vents on exterior walls for heating equipment should be checked. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is preventable. CO Detectors are readily available at hardware and home improvement stores.
• We know many folks do have to get out for work or other necessary travel during storms, but we greatly appreciate folks who have a choice and choose to stay home!
To reach Editorial Director Holly S. Edwards, email firstname.lastname@example.org