Snow all day; large area will likely get 6 inches or more
Precipitation over New Jersey will continue transitioning from rain to snow through mid-morning, and bands of moderate to heavy snow will bring quick, significant accumulations all day long.
RAIN:As of this writing (5 a.m.), snow has overtaken the northern half of the state. As cold air continues pushing south, rain will continue transitioning first to sleet/snow and then quickly to all snow. By mid-morning, all of New Jersey will be all snow, and accumulations will start to occur very quickly in the heaviest snow bands.
TIMING: Weather conditions may be a bit deceiving this morning, as rain held on a bit longer than expected. However, moderate to heavy snow will cause quick accumulations and poor road conditions by the late morning into the afternoon. At the moment, I think the heaviest bursts of snow will occur around 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Through this evening (by about 7 p.m. at the latest), the snow will taper off to snow showers. Final flakes should fall by about Midnight tonight.
INTENSITY: Persistent light snow is expected all day, with bands of moderate to heavy snow reducing visibilities and accelerating accumulation.
WARNING: The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for most of New Jersey through 7 p.m. today. That warning is in effect for Hunterdon, Somerset, Union, Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland, Atlantic, and Cape May counties. A Winter Storm Warning means significant snow (4+ inches) is likely to occur, making for icy roads and hazardous travel conditions. A less-severe and less-urgent Winter Weather Advisory is in effect today for the rest of the state (North Jersey). I would expect the NWS to trim these advisories a bit early, as the snow begins to clear out this afternoon and evening.
SWEET SPOT: This morning's forecast models continue to show the “sweet spot” of highest snow totals to set up over the central to southern parts of the state. We're calling for 6 to 9 inches of snow accumulation generally from Mercer and Monmouth counties southward, with the possible exception of the far south coast. See the map above for a better representation of our latest forecast.
NORTH: It is unlikely that the heaviest precipitation bands will happen in North Jersey, and so we have lower snow totals for the northern third of the state. In fact, it’s wholly possible that the vicinity of Sussex County clears out of the snow completely by this afternoon.
SOUTH/COAST: I remain concerned that the extreme south coast will remain above freezing a bit too long to see the biggest 6+ inch accumulations. So in the latest forecast update, I’ve limited this area of 4 to 6 inch accumulations to coastal Atlantic County and most of Cape May County.
THE END: Today will be a very snowy day overall, as the precipitation doesn’t look to taper off significantly until this evening. Final flakes are expected between 7 p.m. and Midnight tomorrow.
AFTERMATH: Behind the snow, temperatures will continue dropping sharply overnight, and we’ll have a frigid day ahead for Friday. Many low temperatures will fall into the single digits, and highs will struggle to surpass the mid 20s. Luckily, this arctic blast will be temporary, as a slow warmup will ensue this weekend.