Feeling more wintry Wednesday: AM snow showers, cold and blustery
The Bottom Line
A cold front will introduce a quick burst of winter on Wednesday, with morning snow showers and squalls, a brisk wind, and colder temperatures. Milder, quieter weather resumes for Thursday and Friday. Then another blast of cold wind will arrive for the weekend, which could set up more wintry weather early next week.
As of this writing (5 a.m.), we're already seeing our first bands of precipitation of the day. Light to moderate snow has enveloped the northern third of the state (above I-78). Meanwhile, a mix of mainly rain and some snowflakes is driving through far southern NJ (Salem, Cumberland, and Cape May counties).
Things have been very quiet so far this January, so I'm sure there are many New Jerseyans who forget how to deal with snowflakes! Stay alert - conditions could slide downhill very quickly.
Accumulation is not the primary concern here. (We could see a healthy coating on the ground by late Wednesday morning.) The snow squall potential is what deserves special attention - that is a burst of heavy snow that suddenly and drastically reduces visibility and road traction. It would be brief, but impactful. Snow showers and squalls are a possibility for just about the entire state. (Although raindrops seem more likely along the immediate coast and in far southern New Jersey.)
By about 10 or 11 a.m., skies will start to clear. (An isolated snow shower will remain possible through this afternoon.) It is still going to feel quite wintry through the rest of the day. Northwesterly wind gusts will kick up as high as 30 mph. High temperatures will only reach about 35 to 40 degrees. We call that combination blustery. This could be our first below-normal day since late December.
And Wednesday night will be New Jersey's coldest night in about a week. Look for lows in the upper teens to lower 20s. Skies will become mainly clear. And thankfully, winds should lighten up considerably overnight.
Mother Nature flips the switch back to quiet weather. It will be mostly sunny and dry. Still a bit breezy perhaps, with gusts to 20 mph. But Thursday won't be as cold as Wednesday, as highs return to the 40 to 45 degree range.
Another reasonably pleasant January day. Sunny skies will allow high temps to rise into the mid 40s.
Another front, another burst of arctic wind, and another cooldown arrives for the weekend. At the moment, I do not see any precipitation with this next frontal passage.
With northwesterly wind gusts to 35 mph, high temperatures on Saturday will struggle to reach the lower to mid 30s. Firmly below normal for late January.
And Sunday won't be much better. Slightly lighter winds, slightly warmer temps. Highs should push into the mid 30s. At least bright sunshine will dominate the sky throughout the weekend.
The Extended Forecast
Both the GFS and European models show our next storm system arriving in the Monday-Tuesday time frame. It is that kind of consistency that makes forecasters more confident that a storm system is going to actually develop.
Having said that, there are considerably differences in the track and timing of that system. Given the continued chill in the air early next week, an icy mix seems likely to start (at least). But how much of New Jersey will see that wintry mix? How long will it last? How intense will it be? Will there be enough snow/sleet to cause accumulation? And most importantly, will there be an eventual transition to rain? All good questions that need to be answered in the coming days.