Quiet, chilly weather for NJ Wednesday
While the way Tuesday's snowy weather played out was far from what I expected, the numbers for this "minor" winter weather event did end up close to expectations. The biggest snow totals were in and around Ocean County, on the order of 2 inches.
Overall, the forecast for the next week (at least) looks fairly typical for the middle of winter. We'll experience mostly cold temps, spordic mild days, and frequent chances of wintry weather.
Skies have cleared overnight, leading to a cold start to Wednesday with temperatures mostly in the teens.
Viewing conditions should be excellent for Wednesday morning's super blue blood moon. It's super because the moon is closer to the earth than usual, and will therefore appear bigger and brighter. It's blue simply because it's the second full moon in the calendar month. And, most impressively, it's a blood moon because of this morning's lunar eclipse, giving the moon a red-orange glow. Best viewing will be between about 6:30 a.m. and 7 a.m., just before sunrise and moonset.
Winds will calm quickly through Wednesday morning. We'll see lots of sunshine to start, with fair-weather clouds building in by Wednesday afternoon. Models suggest North Jersey will be clipped by a light snow shower Wednesday afternoon too — I doubt it will be anything more than a few flurries. High temperatures will be limited to the mid 30s, on the order of 5 degrees below normal for the last day of January.
Clouds will steadily increase Wednesday night, with chilly (yet slightly above-normal) low temperatures in the upper 20s to lower 30s.
To start, Thursday will be cloudy, dry, and temporarily warmer, as high temperatures reach the mid to upper 40s. However, our next storm system looms on the horizon.
That system, driven by an eventual cold front, will begin pushing precipitation into the Garden State around mid-afternoon Thursday. For northwestern NJ (north of I-80 and west of I-287), I think 1-2" (locally 3") of snow accumulation is likely. To the south and east, this will be a rain-to-snow event, resulting in limited to no accumulation. However, road conditions could still become sloppy and slippery from Thursday night to Friday morning.
After snow showers wrap-up early Friday, skies will begin to clear. Remember that cold front I mentioned? The frigid air behind it will flow into New Jersey on a brisk northwesterly wind throughout the day Friday. That will cause temperatures to tumble, from the lower 30s at breakfast to the lower 20s by dinnertime. Definitely a return to "bundle up" weather!
By Saturday, we'll be back to the cold side of the world, with high temperatures only in the lower 30s (at best). At least it will be a bright, sunny winter day.
New Jersey's weather picture gets busy again for Sunday. One weak storm system will clip North Jersey in the morning, with a chance for an inconsequential snow shower. Most of Sunday's daytime hours will be mostly cloudy, breezy, and fairly seasonable with high temps between 40 and 45 degrees.
Then, starting around mid-afternoon Sunday, our next storm system rolls in. This one gave me pause when I perused the forecast models — it looks pretty impressive and pretty strong. However, the latest data suggests we'll end up on the warm side of this system. Warm = mostly rain, again.
Having said that, colder northwestern New Jersey could see several (say, 3 to 6) inches of snow accumulation from Sunday evening through Monday morning. Also, this is one of those very temperature and track sensitive forecasts — if the storm system tracks further east, more of the state could see snow accumulation. We still have 100+ hours for this forecast to evolve — I'm sure a lot of New Jerseyans would love a snow day after Super Bowl LII! Stay tuned...