Wednesday night: South Jersey’s turn for shovels and snow brushes
UPDATE... This article is outdated...
For the latest winter storm forecast information, please refer to my newest weather blog post.
UPDATE as of 4 p.m. Wednesday...
Forecast models are painting a slightly snowier picture for Wednesday night, especially in southern New Jersey. If an extended period of moderate snow sets up, I estimate snow totals could end up about an inch higher than my AM forecast (below). In other words, on the order of 1" north, 3" central, 5" south.
The National Weather Service expanded the Winter Weather Advisory into central and northeastern New Jersey. It still runs from Wednesday evening through about midday Thursday.
While I have my doubts that 3+ inch snowfall will reach north of Interstate 195, everyone in the state should be prepared for at least a little bit of white on the ground Thursday morning.
ORIGINAL POST from 6:31 a.m. Wednesday...
My goal in this morning's weather blog update is to give a quick outline our next four periods of active, wintry weather. Some are very minor. Some could be more significant storms, but with high uncertainty at this time.
If I don't mention a time frame here, you can assume our weather will be quiet, dry, and cold. Let's dive in...
Wednesday Evening to Thursday Morning
To be crystal clear, there will be no weather problems for New Jersey during the daytime hours Wednesday. (Other than cold temperatures and black ice.) Skies will progress from partly to mostly cloudy, with high temperatures in the mid 30s.
Then a weak impulse will ride through the atmosphere just south of New Jersey starting Wednesday evening. Because we're on the cold side of this storm system, we're looking at all snow for the duration. Latest model guidance shows snow spreading across all corners of New Jersey. But this one isn't going to go bonkers and bury us — minor to moderate accumulations are likely, especially the farther south you are.
Snowflakes will bubble into southwestern New Jersey around 7 p.m. Wednesday evening, spreading to the northeast corner of the state by about Midnight. Snowfall intensity will generally be light, with some pockets of moderate stuff possible. Snow will taper off from northwest to southeast between about 5 a.m. and Noon Thursday.
The snow "bullseye" for this winter event will be in South Jersey. 2 to 4 inches of accumulation seem likely, as far north as about Camden and Toms River. Through the middle of the state, as far north as about Flemington and Perth Amboy, we could pickup another inch or two on the ground. And for the northern third of the state, don't expect much — a coating to an inch of fresh snow is possible, but not guaranteed.
So you might be grabbing the shovel or snow brush early Thursday morning, especially the farther south you are. If snow totals lean toward the top end of the forecast, I could see some school closings, delays, or virtual days.
A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for the 8 southernmost counties in southern New Jersey, cautioning of travel difficulties during and after snow. The advisory covers Ocean, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland, Atlantic, and Cape May counties from 7 p.m. Wednesday to Noon Thursday. (This is one instance where I agree completely with the National Weather Service's geography, timing, and issuance of this advisory!)
The rest of Wednesday will be mostly cloudy to overcast, with high temperatures between about 30 and 35 degrees.
Another weak wave will pass south of NJ late Thursday night through early Friday morning. This one is tracking even farther south than the first one, so impacts on the Garden State will be even more limited. In fact, forecast models paint an additional half-inch to inch of snowfall for Cumberland and Cape May counties only — truly far southern New Jersey.
Very minor. And snowflakes may not even reach north of the Atlantic City Expressway, making this a non-event for most of the state.
Late Saturday to Early Sunday
Things get a little more (ahem) interesting this weekend, between about Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. (Note: This is a slightly earlier time frame we had been discussing earlier.)
All forecast models show a coastal storm sliding past New Jersey in that time frame. But the picture of potential impacts and accumulations is a complete mess. I'm not totally convinced this is going to be an all-snow event. (Which feels so weird, given our current frigid air mass!) So for now, we have to expect snow, wintry mix, rain, and/or all of the above. Coastal flooding is also on the table.
My general read on this storm? It's going to be a complicated mess. I think substantial snow and ice is on the table, so it's absolutely worth watching. I suspect we'll be able to start adding concrete details to this forecast either late Thursday or Friday, so stay tuned.
Yup, another one. Models have consistently shown another nor'easter-ish storm system around Tuesday 2/16. As it stands now (6 days away), this has the most pronounced snowfall potential of the four. (The GFS, for example, pushes out a foot of snow for part of NJ.)
But we don't count our chickens and we keep our snow hype and excitement in check for now. It could fizzle. The track could shift. It could turn to a rainmaker. Or it could clobber us. We'll have a better view of this one over the weekend. If it becomes a "thing," you'll be among the first to know. I promise.
We had been watching another stormy setup for late next week, which has disappeared from the models as of this morning. (Such major flip-flops are why weather forecasts are unreliable beyond about 6 days.) Hopefully we'll finally get a break of quieter weather heading into the last week of February. (Phew!)
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.