Cold and blustery Wednesday, next storm on the horizon
New Jersey's pool of arctic air has been refreshed, and Wednesday is going to be a frigid day with continuing gusty winds.
Here are your weather headlines for Wednesday, January 13, 2016...
Cold and Windy
Tuesday's sample of wintry weather did indeed leave a coating of snow across northwest New Jersey. The National Weather Service reports measurable snow fell in parts of Camden, Mercer, Morris, Sussex, and Warren counties yesterday. New Jersey's top snowfall total was 1.0" at Wantage, Sussex County.
Behind the snow came another arctic front, which has revitalized the cold air mass sitting over the Northeast U.S. Temperatures this morning in New Jersey fell to around 20 degrees, with bitter wind chills only in the single digits to teens. There are numerous patches of black ice across the Garden State, and you'll obviously need to bundle up tightly before heading out the front door.
High temperatures today will climb to the lower 30s - the northern half of New Jersey probably won't climb above freezing. Meanwhile, sustained winds to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph will keep the wind chill in the teens and 20s all day. This is not really "dangerous" or "extreme" cold - but with wind chills that low, it's certainly uncomfortable!
Overnight lows will drop to about the 20 degree mark once again. The NAM model has persistently shown some snow showers encroaching upon western New Jersey by Thursday morning. I'm not even including these snowflakes in my on-air forecast, but I suppose it's possible. In any case, nothing to write home about.
For Thursday and Friday, temperatures will warm a bit and winds will lighten. Thursday's highs will climb to a seasonable 40 degrees, and on Friday we'll make a run for lower 50s. Not too bad - maybe you can take off that heavy winter coat for a few hours!
Weekend Storm System
Our next weather-maker is forecast to arrive Friday evening around 7 p.m. and potentially impact New Jersey through Noon on Saturday. This storm is pretty complicated: as it slides up the Atlantic coast, the freezing line will likely land right on top of New Jersey. For the colder reaches of North Jersey, some snow and freezing rain will be possible Friday night, as the temperature potentially falls just below 32 degrees. For the rest of the state, I'm currently thinking the thermometer will stay above freezing for the duration of the storm. Yes, we could see some snowflakes flying around in Central Jersey, South Jersey, and along the Jersey Shore... But our current forecast is a familiar tune this winter, calling for just light rain for most of New Jersey.
However, forecast confidence remains shaky, as a slight change in the forecast track of this storm could lead to a significant change in this forecast. Further west (inland), and the precipitation will be heavier but more likely to be rain. Further east (out to sea) and our wintry weather chances increase as colder air is dragged down by northerly winds. Even further out-to-sea, and our weather impacts would be minimized.
I am not prepared to delineate where the rain-snow line is likely to set up in the state. And I'm not prepared to talk potential totals or accumulations yet. At this point, there are still 3 days for this forecast to evolve and/or firm up. We'll be watching it closely, and you should too.