The snow on the ground across much of New Jersey today will be there for a while, as cold air keeps temperatures low over the next several days.

Here are your weather headlines for Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Next Storm: Thursday Night

As I wrote yesterday, our next storm system is pegged for Thursday night into Friday. No big updates to that post this morning. Timing for the precipitation falls in the 7 p.m. Thursday to 10 a.m. Friday time frame. Best chance for accumulating snow will be in North Jersey; along the coast, this storm will bring mostly rain. Even in the places where snow falls, we’d only see an inch or two of fresh accumulation at the most.

Confidence in this forecast remains fairly high... This won’t be a major winter storm, but could cause some snow and ice problems for Friday morning’s commute.

It's C-c-c-cold Out There!

As you may have noticed already this morning, some very cold air has descended upon New Jersey. Today’s high temperature of about 30 degrees will be tempered by a stiff breeze, forcing wind chills down to about 20 degrees. Tomorrow morning will once again feature temperatures in the single digits and teens statewide.

Think that’s cold? Just wait! Following tomorrow night’s storm system (see above), cold air "whooshes" in during the day on Friday. Even though the calendar day high temperature on Friday will be in the lower to mid 30s, look for thermometers to fall steadily throughout the day. That will lead to a downright frigid Saturday, with widespread single digit low temperatures and highs only around 20 degrees.

Think that’s cold?? Just wait!! The early forecast for the middle of next week includes some of the coldest air of the season so far. By Tuesday, we’ll be again looking at lows in the single digits and highs barely reaching 20 degrees.

Think that’s cold??? I agree!!!

On the Horizon: Monday

It’s still six days away, but for several runs, models have indicated a more significant storm system for Monday. In fact, a best guess at timing right now would drop precipitation on New Jersey from late Sunday night through Monday night, with the heaviest stuff falling around the Monday afternoon hours. This is expected to develop as a coastal storm system (nor'easter), and looks to be fairly strong, with plenty of moisture to work with. So periods of heavy precipitation will be a concern.

This is yet another winter storm that will be extremely temperature-critical. At the moment, this storm is taking a more inland track, which puts New Jersey on the *right* side of the storm. Close your eyes and picture it... Low pressure systems have counter-clockwise rotation in the Northern Hemisphere... So where do the winds come from on the right side of a storm system? From the south! What are temperatures generally like to the south? Warm! So southerly flow on the right side of the storm would cause warmer temperatures during the day on Monday - the warmest of the week, in fact - and therefore this storm would bring mostly rain. As temperatures cool off from the successive cold front, we could see some solid snow for the last 3-4 hours of the storm.

One more problem with this one. Credit where credit is due, the National Weather Service noted this morning that "cold antecedent conditions [would make] surfaces more prone to icing." So my call for now would be freezing rain to heavy rain to snow for late Sunday into Monday.

Again, I can’t stress enough that this forecast is extremely dependent on what New Jersey’s temperature profile looks like before and during the storm, both at the surface and up in the atmosphere. If the storm track sees a little jog over to the east, that would cause much colder temperatures for New Jersey, and we could be talking about significant snow instead of rain. (Maybe marginal double-digit accumulations?)

This storm is still 120+ hours away. That leaves plenty of time for the timing, track, temperature, and intensity forecast to change and evolve. As it gets closer, hopefully forecast confidence will grow as to whether we will indeed see the warm or cold forecast solution.

Given our overall active weather pattern right now, you should keep a close eye on this storm as Monday approaches. You know I will!