Blowing Snow and Dangerous Wind Chills Expected Tomorrow and Saturday
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Good evening everyone on this Thursday. Cold air is just on our doorstep this evening as a low-pressure system and cold front approach the region later tonight. This will leave us with cloudy skies and snow showers this evening, but once the front passes during the early morning hours of Friday, temperatures are expected to drop like a rock. While Friday and Saturday both end up being nice days in terms of sunshine, wind chills and blowing snow will make it dangerous to be outside both days. Some improvement in terms of temperatures comes Sunday, but we’ll also be dealing with more snow shower activity with another weak low-pressure system.
Going hour by hour through the rest of this evening shows snow showers moving in as lighter showers at first. This activity could pick up to moderate to heavy snow showers as the cold front passes through the region. Right now, the front looks to pass through the county just before, if not right around midnight, resulting in high temperatures Friday being set right around midnight. Temperatures will only drop from there as skies begin to clear out, and northwesterly winds pick up across the county. In terms of snowfall with this system, we’re not looking at a lot, with most spots picking up a couple of inches once this is done early Friday morning. A couple of things to note. This snowfall will be of the lighter fluffier variety, meaning it will easily blow around in the wind. Because of this, it will be difficult to measure how much snow communities see, as winds will be gusty overnight tonight and through the day Saturday.
Due to blowing snow concerns Friday and Saturday, the National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for the entire county beginning early tomorrow morning and continuing through Saturday evening. Wind gusts between 35 to 45 mph will result in blowing snow and dangerous travel both tomorrow and Saturday as winds continue to be gusty. The greatest risk for blowing snow will be in any unprotected areas, as snow drifts could be a bigger concern. The good news is that there won’t be a lot of snow for the wind to work with but will continue to blow into the roadway and cause travel concerns through Saturday.
As the cold front passes through the region early Friday morning, winds look to shift into the northwest, and allow a pool of colder air to move over northern New England. This bitter cold air mass hangs over us Friday night, with some improvement expected late Saturday afternoon as winds finally lighten up. Winds shift back into the southwest Saturday night into Sunday, allowing for warmer air to begin to work back into the region. The cold air, combined with gusty winds will result in dangerous wind chills. The National Weather Service has also issued Wind Chill Warnings beginning early Friday morning continuing through Saturday evening. Wind chill values at some points could reach between 50 to 60 degrees below zero with the wind. I can’t stress enough how dangerous it will be to be outside for extended periods of time Friday and Saturday.
Breaking down some of the actual wind chill values in the inner circle, along with frostbite times just below the values, frostbite doesn’t begin to be a concern until after midnight tonight. As northwesterly winds and colder air take over during the overnight hours, wind chills quickly drop off, and frostbite chances quickly increase. This will result in frostbite concerns after very short times of exposure out in the cold. These brutally cold wind chills continue through the day Friday, with the worst of the wind chills expected Friday night into Saturday morning. Wind chills at this point in time will be between 50 to 60 degrees below zero. Frostbite risk continues to be around if not under two minutes going through early Saturday morning, with slight improvement by Saturday afternoon. Frostbite concerns will still be there; however you will have to be outside for a longer period of time, more like 10 to 15 minutes to see frostbite set in on exposed skin going through Saturday afternoon.
For more details on the forecast, make sure to check out this evening’s Weather on the Web Video Forecast for the latest information. Stay safe and warm out there!
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