Icy Start to Monday, Potentially Icy End to Tuesday
As a few areas of light freezing drizzle taper off this morning, we’ll quickly clear away to sunshine by this afternoon; a midweek system will bring snow, ice, and rain back into the forecast.
Here are your weather headlines for Monday, March 2, 2015...
Icy Start, but Clearing Out
As of this writing (5 a.m.), there are still a few spots of freezing drizzle in South Jersey, but we’re mostly done with Sunday’s snow/ice storm. Snow totals topped 3 inches in several places across the state. More significantly, ice accumulations reached a half-inch in some spots, making for some very slippery front steps, driveways, sidewalks, and roads this morning. It might be wise to take a few extra minutes to warm-up and scrape the ice off your car.
Sunshine and above-freezing temperatures will mean we’ll see some solid snow and ice melt today. But, as always, that’s a double-edged sword... With low temperatures tonight dropping into the teens (or colder), all that water is subject to refreeze into black ice for your Tuesday morning commute.
Midweek Mess: Part 1
Another stormy setup approaches for the middle of the week, and it looks like New Jersey will see an extended period of precipitation (both frozen and liquid) from Tuesday night through Thursday.
By late afternoon or early evening on Tuesday, we have to put a chance for wintry mix into the forecast. Exactly what falls from the sky will be highly dependent on temperatures - it will likely range from rain to freezing rain to snow. Some light snow accumulations (up to 3”) will be possible from this first phase of the storm, especially in colder North Jersey. The freezing rain induced icing situation shouldn’t be as bad as Sunday’s, but it still won’t take much freezing rain to make for a treacherous, icy situation.
As warmer air moves into New Jersey through the overnight hours Tuesday into Wednesday, any wintry precipitation will change over to rain (transitioning from south to north). Rainy weather continues for much of the day Wednesday. There may be a pocket or two of heavier rain. Minor flooding will be a concern due to the widespread ice covering storm drains and blocking rivers and streams.
Midweek Mess: Part 2
While confidence is moderate to high for the first two phases of our midweek storm setup I’ve described above (Tuesday night’s wintry mix and Wednesday’s rain), the final chapters of this system currently have many question marks. A slow-moving front will eventually bring colder air to New Jersey on Thursday, and an area of low pressure is expected to ride along that front and provide one more chance of precipitation. The temperature difference on either side of the front will be quite noticeable - Wednesday’s highs will approach 50°, while Thursday afternoon’s highs will struggle to reach 30°. So it’s difficult to say which form - rain or snow - this final shot of precipitation will take. I’m leaning toward mostly snow at this point, which would mean some not-so-minor accumulations in the 4 to 6 inch range. But it’s too early to nail that down anymore.
This week is going to be messy, so it’s important to keep a close eye on the ever-evolving forecast and conditions.
Oh, and it looks like the upcoming weekend will feature quiet conditions, sunny skies, and somewhat warmer temperatures... so we can look forward to that!