Up to 6 inches of snow expected today, even as Spring approaches
This first day of Spring looks to be a snowy one, with a wide swath of 3 to 6 inches of accumulation in North Jersey and a snowy, rainy, slushy mess in South Jersey.
Our final forecast for today’s winter storm hasn’t really changed much since yesterday. The contour intervals have been tweaked a bit, to reflect the concern that the “sweet spot” of the highest snow totals (up to 6 inches) may end up a bit further south than originally anticipated. Warmer temperatures across the southern half of the state will change snow to rain late this morning into this afternoon, thereby limiting snow accumulations. North Jersey may stay all snow all day.
Light to moderate snow will continue through the early to mid afternoon, when the intensity of the storm will ramp up a bit. Pockets of heavy snow will limit visibility, and roads will get very slippery very quickly. Further complicating this forecast, as temperatures slowly climb above freezing this afternoon, the snow will transition to cold, uncomfortable rain in South Jersey. Exactly where those warmer temperatures end up will have a huge impact on final snow totals, as the heaviest, steadiest precipitation hits during and after that transition to rain. This evening, the storm will start to taper off. But snow showers have to remain in the forecast until about midnight tonight.
So let’s talk totals. 3 to 6 inches of snow accumulation is expected across a good swath from Mercer, Middlesex, and northern Monmouth counties northward. South of that “sweet spot”, the transition from snow to rain will keep snow totals in the 1 to 3 inch range. Along the far south coast (Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and Salem counties), we’ll see less than an inch of snow before the rain changeover.
I’ve been saying it all week, and I’ll say it again... No matter what is falling from the sky at any given moment - snow, rain, or something in between - roads are likely to be icy, snowy, slushy, and/or wet. In any one of those cases, there will be significant travel problems for much of the state today. And unfortunately, that will particularly include this evening’s commute home.
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for most of the state until this evening:
As the snow ends early Saturday morning, skies will start to clear. Saturday looks like a pretty nice day, with partly sunny skies and highs approaching 50°. Late Saturday night (starting around 10 p.m.), we’ll add a chance for light snow showers to the forecast as a front pushes through the state. And then Sunday will be sunny, but cooler, with highs scaling back to around 40°.