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More snow to come Thursday evening


The bottom line

This is my second update from the morning weather blog – phew! We are grappling with widespread icing issues Wednesday morning as patchy freezing rain sweeps through New Jersey.

For more details on this element of the forecast, please click here.

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The next winter storm on the road is expected to arrive late Thursday night. It will be fast and relatively compact. I guess you could call it a coastal storm, a blizzard, if you like, but the energy inland is not going to “phase” properly with the depression off the coast. Bottom line, I’m not expecting a “hit” snow event here in New Jersey.

The latest forecast for Thursday night’s snowstorm as of Wednesday morning. (Dan Zarrow, Townsquare Media)

That said, Thursday night’s storm system is expected to dump several inches of snow over New Jersey. I am particularly concerned about the traffic being rumored for the Friday morning trip.

Chronology

Snow is likely statewide from late Thursday night through to the Friday morning peak.

-To start up… 10 p.m. Thursday
-To finish… 8 a.m. on Friday

Note: There is no well-defined “peak” or “climax” of the storm, a period of particularly heavy precipitation. The night hours to the early hours of the morning all seem equally snowy at the moment.

The GFS model forecast around 1 a.m. Friday morning shows the heaviest snow falling over the southern half of New Jersey. (DuPage College of Meteorology)

Totals

Considering the schedule and temperatures, this should be an “all snow” event for much of New Jersey.

Usually the magic number here appears to be 3, give or take. About 3 inches of fresh accumulation, which is the lower end of “moderate” or “advisory” snowfall.

Digging deeper, here’s how I broke down my first stabbing prediction:

– The Sweet Spot … The combination of the heaviest snow bands, sub-freezing temperatures and the richest humidity will bring the greatest amount of snowfall to central and southern New Jersey inland. On the order of 3 to 6 inches.

– North and West … Still a little snow. But far from the center of the storm system, the intensity of snowfall will be weaker than further south. I think an inch or two seems most likely – again, North Jersey Will not do see the most snow in the state of this storm!

-South side… The center of this stormy system will carry warmer air. Warm enough to force the transition from straight snow to mix or even regular rain. If the center follows near the New Jersey coast, the snow totals would effectively be cut when such mixing occurs. This is why I kept the snow totals for the shore points (with southern exposure) slightly lower. For now. We will see how things continue to evolve.

The image of the NAM model at around 4 a.m. Friday shows mostly snow over New Jersey. But don’t miss that burst of rain / mingling along the coast, potentially limiting buildup. (DuPage College of Meteorology)

What if the storm is approaching?

As always, we need to consider how the storm and its forecast might evolve before the first snowflakes arrive in 36 to 48 hours.

In this case, a subtle north / west shift would be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the heaviest bands of snow would grow further north in New Jersey. (Beyond the NJ Turnpike Corridor.) I might even see totals over 6 inches developing somewhere in New Jersey, especially if the snow report is right. I still don’t think North Jersey would tap into a degree of “heavy” snow.

On the other hand, the center of the storm would move closer to the NJ coast. This means that mixing / rain would be even more likely, forcing the accumulations even lower. (An inch or two, maybe?)

What if the storm “moves” further?

In this case, the most significant precipitation would move away from New Jersey. But we would still be on the “cold side” of the storm. So we would still see snow accumulating, even along the immediate coast.

But the totals would end up being one full category lower. 3 to 6 inches? Balance at 1 to 3. 1 to 3 inches? Hey, try 0 to 1.

Impacts / Actions to be taken

I qualified the impacts of this winter storm as “moderate”. Most of the snow will fall and accumulate overnight, limiting traffic incidents and the threat of people being stranded due to deteriorating weather conditions.

However, I am very concerned about a snowy and icy Friday morning commute to work / school. I sense delays, closures and virtual days ahead if the winter forecast holds true.

The National Weather Service will likely begin issuing advisories late Wednesday or early Thursday, as forecasts continue to strengthen. This will be your signal to prepare for the storm. Check your plans and supplies and be prepared for a period of bad weather.

Again, this is not a major historic successful storm, but you need to be prepared no matter what. Especially since this will be the first snowfall of the season for everything except the far north and south of New Jersey.

And after?

Friday afternoon will turn sunny and windy, with highs in the 1930s.

No problem for Saturday, as the sun and unusually cold temperatures continue.

Our next online storm system is expected to arrive on Sunday morning. And he will be with us until early Monday morning.

It is a slow cold front, which will produce mainly rain over New Jersey. However, there is a reasonable possibility that we will see an initial transition from winter mixing to rain at the start of Sunday morning. And / or a return to snow late in the storm Monday morning, as the colder air returns.

It looks like we can catch our weather breath next week. The high pressure will mean calm, albeit cold, weather for Monday and beyond.

NJ WEATHER CENTER: your forecasts over 5 days and more

Dan Zarrow is chief meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook Where Twitter for the latest real-time weather forecasts and updates.

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