Winter Weather Advisory: Snow to make for a messy Friday AM commute
The last time New Jersey saw over an inch of fresh snow? A month ago, February 9th.
The Bottom Line
Our latest forecast tweaks the snow forecast upward slightly for northern and central New Jersey. But it really doesn't matter how much falls on your lawn Friday morning. The timing is the most inconvenient part of this minor snow storm, potentially making your Friday morning commute treacherous due to low visibility and wet/icy roads.
First flakes will arrive in North Jersey as early as 8 p.m. Thursday evening.
Steadier snow bands arrive around Midnight, and spread eastward and southward through the rest of New Jersey.
The heaviest snow bands will occur between about 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. Friday.
Additional snow showers are likely through Friday afternoon.
Our latest forecast paints a wide swath of 2 to 4 inches of fresh snow accumulation across northern and central New Jersey. Locally higher amounts will be possible, especially in the (colder) higher elevations of NW NJ.
1 to 2 inches of snow accumulation will be possible along and south of Interstate 195, mainly through Ocean and Burlington counties.
At the very least, we will see some snow fall in South Jersey on Friday morning. Whether it sticks or not (and how fast) is uncertain. Up to 1 inch of snow is expected across the southern third of the state. That range includes zero — I would not be surprised to see an area with only a coating or even nothing at all.
There are several factors that will mitigate New Jersey's snow totals to an extent: Mixing with rain at onset, the relatively warm ground, the rising sun angle (as Spring approaches), and melting.
Additionally, it's important to note that temperatures will likely stay at or above the freezing mark throughout the storm. That's a perfect situation for road salt — treated roads should remain mostly clear throughout the storm.
On the other hand, colder surfaces (basically everything except concrete and asphalt) will see the fastest and the most snow accumulation.
Winter Weather Advisory
The National Weather Service has expanded the Winter Weather Advisory that was issued Thursday morning. It now includes the following 13 counties (and partial counties), for the following time periods:
--Sussex County from 8 p.m. Thursday until 10 a.m. Friday
--Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, and Union counties from 10 p.m. Thursday until 2 p.m. Friday
--Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, inland Monmouth, Morris, Somerset, and Warren counties from Midnight until Noon Friday
Remember: A Winter Weather Advisory serves as a "heads up" to an impending minor snow event. 3+ inches of snow may cause travel problems, due to reduced visibility and slippery roads.
The Cold That Follows
Behind the snow, a fierce northwesterly wind will deliver some truly bitter arctic air for the weekend. Morning lows will fall into the teens, with wind chill ("feels like" temperatures) values potentially in the single digits. Many places in New Jersey won't climb out of the 20s on Saturday, with lower 30s at best on Sunday. Bundle up, for an extended period of serious cold!
There is another winter storm modeled for the Monday night through Tuesday night time frame. But we are not ready to discuss details yet regarding this snow chance. The brunt of the storm is still 5 days away, the track forecast along the coast is going to be very delicate, and I prefer to handle just one winter storm at a time.
I will say that if the track, timing and temperatures continue to line up, this setup could be conducive to producing significant snowfall throughout New Jersey. Maybe even double-digit snowfall totals? Sit tight - we'll know more in the coming days, and will be sure to keep you updated.