White January – A Foot of Snow Expected in New Hampshire, Maine
❄️ Snow will begin falling across southern New Hampshire & Maine late Saturday night
❄️ No matter the track of the storm, the area will get at least six inches of snow
❄️ A storm on Tuesday could wash it all away
If you're a snow lover in the Seacoast region and coastal Maine, this is the storm you've been waiting for.
A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for the entire area as the National Weather Service is expecting snow to fall heavy at times between Saturday night and most of Sunday. The storm will bring low visibility and make driving a challenge.
Southern New Hampshire, including all of Rockingham and Strafford counties in New Hampshire, all of York County, and southern Cumberland County in Maine, will have an accumulation of 8-12 inches of snow. There will likely be no mixing of rain or sleet with this storm.
Meteorologist Andy Pohl with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, told Seacoast Current he expects the snow to start late Saturday night just before midnight, and end late Sunday afternoon.
The timeline of the snow:
- Snow starts: Late Saturday night around midnight
- Heaviest snow: Sunday between 4 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- Snow ends: Around 4 p.m.
Pohl said a band of heavier snow will set up somewhere over southeast New Hampshire or southwest Maine that could push snow totals over a foot.
"Certainly this far out, we don't have model guidance good enough to give us a real good idea of where that band will set up. But it's it's looking like they're that type of situation where we'll definitely get a band someplace," Pohl said Friday morning.
While confidence is high in the forecast, Pohl said if the storm tracks further south than expected, the region will still get at least six inches of snow.
Pohl said the density of the snow will be somewhere in the middle. The ratio of snow to rain will be 13-1, which is pretty normal.
"It's not gonna be real heavy dense concrete falling from the sky type stuff at all, but it's also not gonna be super fluffy. It's gonna be a fairly lighter and fluffier snow, but we do have some pretty cold temperatures out there," Pohl said.
Parking restrictions will likely go into effect as it gets closer to the storm, and remain in effect until the roads are cleared.
- Dover: Citywide parking ban on city streets, sidewalks, and adjacent public parking areas goes into effect Saturday at 8 p.m. through Sunday at 6 a.m. and 1 a.m. - 6 a.m. downtown.
- Newmarket: Parking ban in effect from Saturday 10 p.m. - Monday 6 a.m. on all town streets
- Rochester: Citywide parking ban on city streets and municipal parking lots in effect from Saturday 11 p.m. - Sunday 8 a.m.
- Somersworth: Citywide emergency ban with no on-street parking allowed Saturday at 11 p.m. until Sunday at 11 p.m. The ban will be lifted in the downtown business district Sunday at 8 a.m.
Unitil External Affairs Director Alec O’Meara said there are a few things homeowners should watch as the snow accumulates.
"Customers should keep a close eye on their vents for gas appliances and gas meters and carefully remove any snow and ice that may build up to prevent damage to utilities. Following a significant snow or ice storm, chimneys and vents should be cleared to prevent carbon monoxide from building up and potentially causing illness or even death. Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed inside homes and businesses," O'Meara said.
A broom should be used when clearing snow and ice from meters. When removing snow, O'Meara said it's important that snow isn’t shoveled or plowed up against the meter or vent pipe.
What about the next storm?
Pohl is also watching a snow forecast to impact the area with snow, strong winds, and several inches of heavy rain.
"It's hard to say exactly what's going to happen, but with the frozen ground and rain falling on snow and with getting snow melt (that's, you know, what happened on December 18 in central New Hampshire and in Maine), that caused so many problems," Pohl said. "It could make a mess of things."
Visit 12 of Maine's Best Soup Spots to Warm Up Your Winter
Gallery Credit: Megan