Spring nor’easter to slowly wind down Wednesday night
It has been a long, wintry day across the Garden State. (Especially here in the weather center!) Here are some bullet points outlining what to expect through the end of our latest nor'easter Wednesday evening, the overnight, and early Thursday:
The peak of the snowstorm kicked in a bit later than anticipated, as you probably noticed. But once those heavy snow bands arrived, conditions certainly went downhill rapidly. (I'm not going to do a full "post-mortem" of my forecast vs. snow observations until the storm is all done — it seems like some of you were impressed, and some disappointed.)
Bands of moderate to heavy snowfall will continue affecting New Jersey through much of the evening hours. Maybe even as late as Midnight. That means a few more inches of accumulation are possible. (On the order of 3 or 4 inches, give or take?) After sunset, anything that falls from the sky will be all snow (i.e. no mix/rain).
The wind forecast did not verify for most of New Jersey. The top gust along the coast was 48 mph at Harvey Cedars. Further inland, only sporadic gusts hit 30 mph. Luckily, this underperformance spared us from the worst power outage potential. It will remain breezy overnight through Thursday, with occasional gusts to that 30 mph mark.
Coastal flooding remains a significant concern, with the highest high tide of any March coastal storm on the way Wednesday night. The Atlantic Ocean tide level is expected to crest around 11 p.m. As usual, back bays and tributaries will peak a couple hours later. Tidal guidance still suggests 3 feet of storm surge, enough for water levels to poke above moderate flood stage for part of the overnight. Another round of minor coastal flooding is possible at the next high tide cycle around noontime Thursday.
Thursday morning's commute will still be sloppy in spots, especially on neighborhood roads that were not pre-salted or plowed during the storm. Major roads should be cleared relatively quickly and easily — but the usual icy shoulders and slick elevated surfaces will be a problem.
Numerous delays and a few closings have already been reported for Thursday.
By Thursday afternoon, temperatures will recover to the lower to mid 40s. While that's below normal for late March, it is sufficiently above freezing to kickstart the snowmelt. A few peeks of sunshine will help too.
Hang in there, we're almost done with what will hopefully be our last big winter storm of the season. (Fingers cross!)
Be smart and be safe tonight!