Deep freeze about to return to New Jersey
A few showers across the Garden State on Tuesday will give way to an arctic wind and some of the coldest temperatures of the season so far.
Wind chill (noun). "The portion of the cooling of a human body caused by air motion." (Glossary of Meteorology) I often call it the "feels like temperature" or "apparent temperature," the combination of cold temperatures and a brisk wind.
Know it well — I'm going to use the term several more times before this post is done!
As Tuesday begins, scattered showers are starting to arrive in the western part of the state. A few more things to know about these showers, that will remain in the forecast all day:
--Showers will be mostly rain — snowflakes will be limited to far northwestern New Jersey. Accumulating snow will stay well north and west of the Garden State.
--Our atmosphere is quite dry right now, so some precipitation showing up on radar may not even reach the ground before evaporating. (That's called "virga".)
--Rain may briefly change to snow this evening as temperatures drop.
High temps on Tuesday afternoon should be on the mild side (relatively speaking, at least). Look for lower 40s in North Jersey, mid 40s in Central Jersey, and close to 50 degrees in South Jersey.
Our next arctic cold front arrives by Tuesday evening, and that's when thermometers will start to plummet. Overnight lows are forecast to end up in the lower 20s for most of the state and mid 20s for urban and coastal areas. We'll almost certainly see teens in the coldest spots.
But the thermometer doesn't tell the whole story. Overnight winds over 20 mph will push the wind chill into the single digits for most/all of the state.
So you'll definitely be doing some serious bundling Wednesday morning, and you'll want to stay bundled up through Wednesday afternoon. Despite a return to sunshine, high temps will only push into the lower to mid 30s. That means a good portion of New Jersey may be stuck below freezing all day. As wind gusts peak at about 35 mph, wind chills will be in the teens and 20s all day. Brrr!
Wednesday night will be frigid as well, with teens and 20s. Lighter winds serve as a double-edged sword — thermometers will end up a few degrees colder than the previous night, but the wind chill won't be as bad.
Our next storm system will be a clipper system that will sweep from west to east across New Jersey early Thursday morning. On the weak side, but probably sizable and strong enough to produce a few hours of light snowfall. (That'll be sometime in the wide window between 1 a.m. and 10 a.m. Thursday.) I could see a fresh coating to a half-inch of snow on the ground from this one.
The rest of Thursday will be sunny, somewhat breeze, and still cold. Highs will be limited to the mid 30s.
There's a coastal storm system worth watching in the late Friday-early Saturday time frame. At the moment, models show a near-miss — of course, we know how that outlook worked out last weekend... As temperatures will remain cold through the start of the weekend, this one absolutely bears monitoring for accumulation potential.