Definitely Feels Like January – Cold and Light Snow in the Forecast for NJ
Sunday's record warmth and heavy rain are gone, as arctic air and blustery winds have returned along with a chance of light snow in the forecast.
Here are your weather headlines for Monday, January 11, 2016...
Arctic Air is Back
It's hard to believe after yesterday's 60+ degree temperatures and strong spring-like thunderstorms, but the arctic air is back! Thermometers today will read about 30 degrees colder than yesterday. In fact, this entire week will predominantly stay on the cold side, and we add some wintertime wind and snow chances along the way.
As of this writing, temperatures have fallen to the lower 30s across New Jersey. With regular wind gusts over 20 mph, the wind chill (or "feels like" temperature) is only in the 20s. Don't look for much of a warmup today, with highs in the lower to mid 30s and wind chills in the 20s at best, all day long. At least skies will be nice and sunny.
Winds will slowly calm throughout Monday, and should be pretty light by Monday night. However, clear skies and light winds will contribute to a very cold night, as lows fall to the upper teens to lower 20s.
Tuesday temperatures will moderate a little bit, as we lose some of the influence of this cold high pressure air mass. Highs should climb to the lower to mid 40s, under partly sunny skies.
Tuesday's surface high temperatures will pop above freezing for most of the day. The upper layers of our atmosphere, however, will remain quite cold. And another cold front will lead to a reinforcing shot of arctic air by Wednesday morning. So, as a storm system clips New Jersey, the chance for snow is on the table.
The timing of this storm system's precipitation will be from about 2 p.m. Tuesday through 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. Given the above-freezing temperatures during the day Tuesday, I wouldn't be surprised if this system initially manifests itself as rain showers for at least part of the Garden State. However, as temperatures drop Tuesday evening and as colder air returns, we will see a quick transition to all light snow.
This system will be pretty moisture starved, so the snowfall won't be heavy, and shouldn't last longer than a few hours. (This is NOT a "bread and milk" snowstorm!)
Could this be our first widespread snow accumulation of the 2015-2016 winter season? Yes... but it won't be much, and accumulation is not quite a sure bet. I have no doubt it will be cold enough to snow Tuesday evening. Falling snow is likely. And light accumulation, especially on colder non-asphalt surfaces, is possible.
Our official forecast calls for a widespread dusting of snow on the ground by Wednesday morning, especially in North Jersey and Central Jersey. Up to an inch of snow accumulation is possible in the higher elevations of northwestern New Jersey. It's about time.
The Rest of the Week
By sunrise Wednesday, the snow will be done falling, but the bitter cold and wind will be back. A reinforcing shot of arctic air on Wednesday will limit highs to only the upper 20s to lower 30s. With wind gusts to 40 mph or more, the painful wind chill will likely be stuck in the teens and 20s all day.
Winds start to calm on Thursday. But temperatures will stay on the cold side of normal with highs in the lower to mid 30s.
Thanks to a flip to southwesterly winds on Friday, clouds will increase and temperatures will rise. Look for afternoon highs climbing into the lower to mid 40s.
Our next storm system arrives Saturday morning. An influx of warm air is expected to accompany this system, pushing high temperatures to the upper 40s to lower 50s. So it's another rainmaker. I'm not going to rule out some wintry mix at the beginning (early Saturday morning) or end (early Sunday morning) of this system's impacts. Stay tuned.