Quiet weekend for NJ … but a triple-snow threat early next week?
This weekend, mornings will be icy and afternoons will be pleasant; however, a trio of storms could lead to more accumulating snow for New Jersey as early as Monday.
As the snow from Friday morning's coastal storm wraps up, it's time to look to the future for the next chapter in New Jersey's never-ending weather story.
Here are your (other) weather headlines for Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 ...
Beware the Refreeze
As our coastal storm moves further and further out over the Atlantic Ocean, winds will lighten and skies will clear. The combination of clear skies, light winds, dry air, and fresh snow cover are perfect for radiational cooling. So low temperatures will dip into the lower to mid 20s for most of the state (with teens north and west).
That is a hard enough freeze for slush pools, puddles, and wet surfaces to freeze to solid ice. Roadways, driveways, sidewalks, and steps may be very slippery for a while Saturday morning. Be extra careful when driving and especially when walking!
Nice, Quiet Weekend
Aside from the morning freeze, the weekend looks pretty good by early February standards. And quiet, with no major rain, snow, or wind concerns.
Saturday will feature partly sunny skies across the Garden State, with seasonable high temperatures in the lower to mid 40s.
Sunday looks even better, with a bit more sunshine and slightly warmer afternoon temperatures in the mid to upper 40s.
There are actually three storm systems that will conspire to bring New Jersey more snow early next week. My usual disclaimer applies: we are still three to four days away from this storm, and a lot can still change.
The first early week storm to potentially affect New Jersey is a coastal storm that has been tracking as a "near-miss" for early Monday. (I've been watching this system daily in my blog all week.) It still looks like a "near-miss." But this morning's models show the outer bands of this storm system might creep a little too close to the Jersey Shore for comfort. So I put some snow showers in the forecast for coastal Monmouth, Ocean, and Atlantic counties for Monday morning. If the storm track "wiggles" in either direction, that forecast may need to be adjusted.
The second and third storm systems look more like a "hit" — teaming up to bring a potentially larger snow threat to New Jersey. A clipper digging across the Great Lakes will interact with a coastal storm off the Jersey Shore, to bring us an extended period of accumulating snow.
The timing of this complex system would be Monday evening through Wednesday morning. (Yes, that includes all day Tuesday.) It's important to note that this setup lacks the incredible energy and moisture from the blizzard two weeks ago. So instead of an intense burst of heavy snow, our snow accumulation would be a slow, persistent build.
However, even a quarter-inch of snow accumulation an hour over a span of 36 hours adds up to 9 inches of fresh snow on the ground by the end of the storm. (I'm not saying that's our forecast — just an example.)
Still a lot of question marks, and lots of model information to be digested and analyzed. We'll know a bit more on Saturday, and even more by Sunday. It will be very important to keep an eye on the forecast through this weekend so you're not caught off-guard heading back-to-work on Monday. I will post updated forecasts and weather blog posts right here throughout the weekend so you can stay as informed as possible.
In the meantime, grab a shovel or sled, and enjoy the new snow!