Freezing Rain Advisory issued for North Jersey
A wintry mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain could make for a slippery Thursday morning commute in and around Sussex County.
Ready or not, New Jersey's first taste of winter weather of the season is upon us. The arrival of a storm system early Thursday morning will coincide with near-freezing temperatures in far North Jersey. That combination will be enough to cause a little bit of wintry mix - snow, sleet, and primarily freezing rain.
The National Weather Service has issued a Freezing Rain Advisory for Sussex County, in effect from 2 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday. Additionally, Passaic and Bergen counties fall under a Special Weather Statement, warning of the potential for snow and sleet below advisory criteria.
To refresh your memory, freezing rain refers to precipitation that falls as cold, liquid rainfall through the entire column of the atmosphere. It looks like rain, feels like rain, and tastes like rain. That is, until it hits a subfreezing surface - such as a road, car, house, etc. That's when the raindrop instantly turns to ice, potentially making for a very slippery situation.
We're really not expecting much here. Light precipitation could yield an unmeasurable trace of ice. But it won't take much ice accretion to slicken up roadways along and north of Interstate 80 during Thursday morning's commute.
Our saving grace at the moment? It's still early in the season. Soil temperatures are still well above freezing. So it will take a while before road surfaces are cold enough for any snow and/or ice accumulation to "stick".
While I wouldn't rule out snowflakes flying around south of I-80 Thursday morning, Sussex County will probably be the only place with a notable icing concern.
As temperatures throughout the atmosphere warm after sunrise on Thursday, the wintry threat diminishes. Periods of rain are expected throughout the state Thursday, with the steadiest rainfall occurring Thursday afternoon.