NJ weather: Turning sunny and windy Tuesday, next sloppy storm late week
The Bottom Line
It's a winter wonderland! Eh, sort of. A compact storm system passed through New Jersey overnight, dropping up to 3 inches of snow on northern and central New Jersey. That makes it our seventh 2+ inch snow event of the winter season.
Conditions were quite sloppy during the height of the storm. But that area of low pressure is departing, leading to clearing weather Tuesday as the morning presses on.
The story going forward Tuesday will be wind. Otherwise, quiet, sunny, dry weather resumes for about 72 hours.
Our next storm system worth watching is set to arrive at the end of the week, in the late Friday to Saturday time frame. Once again, sloppy weather — including accumulating snow — is on the table. It's still too early to talk details, but this is obviously something we'll be watching through the rest of the week.
As of this writing (6 a.m.), the bulk of our overnight storm system has shifted off the coast. There are still a few snow showers around, mainly in North Jersey. But visibility and road conditions are already way better than they were just a few hours ago.
By 8 or 9 a.m. we will have completely dried out, and the sun should quickly emerge from behind the clouds. You can probably skip shoveling, as the sun and above-freezing temperatures do the trick.
The rest of Tuesday will look nice, although it will feel quite a bit different than our recent stretch of mild weather.
A gusty wind will kick up by lunchtime, blowing out of the northwest up to 30+ mph. That is going to make for a blustery afternoon. It is also carrying in colder, drier air. High temperatures Tuesday will be limited to the lower to mid 40s —below normal for early March.
Tuesday night will definitely be chilly. And breezy. That is a biting combination. Low temperatures will descend to around 30 degrees — a freeze for all but the immediate coast. The wind chill ("feels like" or "apparent" temperature) will probably dip into the teens overnight. Conditions will remain dry, with a few clouds passing overhead.
We will find ourselves in a quiet slice of the atmosphere, although the northwest wind will probably still touch the "breezy" category at times.
Wednesday will be mostly sunny and dry. High temperatures should rise into the seasonable mid to upper 40s.
The warmest day through the rest of the week.
Look for highs in the upper 40s to around 50 degrees. Again, sunshine will dominate the sky, although clouds will thicken late-day. A light breeze and dry weather will contribute to this pleasant early March day.
As I mentioned, our next threat of sloppiness is coming up at the end of the week. With less than 96 hours to go until onset, we are at the stage where I can say we're confident there will be a storm. Now we have to work on the important details: Timing, impacts, accumulations, etc.
Let me make a few broad statements about the potentially stormy forecast now, which we will refine in the coming days:
—Friday daytime should be fine. Lots of clouds. Temperatures come down to the 40s. But no snowflakes or raindrops yet.
—Storm impact time will be from about sunset Friday through sunset Saturday. It may not be inclement that entire time.
—The worst weather looks to be early and late in the storm's progression.
—Snow is likely to the northwest. Rain is likely (to start, at least) to the southeast. Precipitation spread and intensity is tricky. In a perfect "all snow" or even "mostly snow" setup, plowable snowfall is possible.
—Wind may also become an issue during the storm Saturday, with gusts possibly in the 50 to 60 mph range.
I know that's not saying much. But as I said, we will continue to refine and revise this outlook as the storm gets closer. I expect to draw a "first stab" snow map (if warranted) either Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning.
The Extended Forecast
Our weather stays cool and active as we head into the last week of Winter. The European model shows a strong nor'easter plowing into New Jersey early next week. That means almost nothing this far out — but it is indicative of a pattern shift toward more potent storms.
Winter's not over yet, ladies and gentlemen.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.