NJ weather this week: A little snow chance and a big arctic blast
Hello and Happy Sunday — hope you're enjoying your weekend!
Although a few snow showers are likely (especially in North Jersey), this will be our milder day of the weekend with high temperatures in the mid to upper 40s.
I was just peeking at the forecast and noticed two semi-significant weather events aiming for the Garden State this week. Just wanted to type up a quick weather blog post, so you can plan and prepare accordingly!
Little Snow Chance
Our next storm system arrives in the Tuesday-Wednesday time frame. This will be a clipper system, dragging an arctic front behind it. Right now, it looks like rain/mix starting Tuesday afternoon, transitioning to all snow early Wednesday morning as temperatures drop. Lingering snow showers could continue through Wednesday afternoon.
This is not a big, bad, monster storm. But I two have two minor concerns:
1.) Tuesday's high temperatures are expected to be about 45 to 50 degrees — way above freezing. However, if temperatures trend colder and the storm's precipitation is all or mostly snow, we could end up with 2 to 3 inches of accumulation by Wednesday. Maybe even a bit more in far North Jersey. Unlikely, but possible.
2.) As temperatures fall rapidly, early Wednesday's final burst of snow could produce a quick 1 to 2 inches of accumulation (statewide). I think it's fair to call this scenario likely, which means we could very well have some travel impacts for Wednesday morning's commute.
Big Arctic Blast
The biggest weather story this week, by far, is already receiving a lot of social media attention. It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's the return of the dreaded Polar Vortex!
In other words, another blast of very cold air is set to arrive for the second half of the week. In parts of the Upper Plains and Midwest, models are pointing to some truly historic temperatures and wind chills. Chicago, for example, is bracing for low temperatures below -20 with a wind chill as low as -50! In that kind of ridiculous cold, frostbite can affect exposed skin with just 5 minutes.
The bottom of the barrel for New Jersey will be Thursday. Honestly, it looks just like last Monday (MLK Day). Morning low temperatures in the single digits, with a wind chill potentially below -10. Afternoon high temperatures in the teens, with a wind chill hovering around 0. Damaging wind gusts to 40-50 mph.
Dangerous cold? Yes. Record-breaking cold? Maybe. (EWR's record low for Thursday is 1 degree, last set in 1948.)
I imagine school delays, water main breaks, black ice, and car breakdowns will be plentiful. Everything just becomes more difficult and everybody/everything suffers in this kind of extreme cold.
Unseasonably cold temperatures look to continue for Friday and Saturday, before temperatures hopefully moderate for early next week.
There are no major winter storms on the horizon for New Jersey, through the first few days of February. (Sorry, snow-lovers!)
I'll be back in the weather center dark n' early Monday morning with another forecast update. Enjoy what's left of your weekend!