Is It Really Going to Snow Today in New Jersey?
Yes - but don't go digging out the sled just yet, as snow accumulations in the Garden State will be limited.
Here are your weather headlines for Tuesday, January 12, 2016...
It's about time! Winter is going to kick up a notch later today, as we will experience our first statewide snow chance of the season. As we have been telling you all week, however, this absolutely will not be not a major, "bread and milk" snow storm for New Jersey.
Following a cold morning with temperatures in the teens, skies will becoming partly sunny today. A weak warm front will push high temperatures to the lower to mid 40s for central and southern New Jersey today, as wind gusts increase to about 25 mph. The northern third of the state (above I-78) probably won't feel the effects of this warm front today, with highs only in the upper 30s at best.
Meanwhile, a clipper system will arrive from the west around 2 p.m. this afternoon. The layers of the atmosphere above the surface will remain well below freezing all day - perfect conditions for snow (and not sleet, freezing rain, etc.) However, that warm front and those highs in the 40s at the surface will likely cause any precipitation to begin as rain showers for at least part of the Garden State. As temperatures fall this evening, we will transition to all snow showers. Those snow showers could continue through about Midnight tonight before moving out of the state.
I don't expect the snowfall to be heavy, by any means.... However, if a steady snow band gets set up, you might have to deal with reduced visibility and light icing conditions if you're out and about this evening. Additionally, some snow is expected to accumulate on cold (non-asphalt) surfaces. Areas north and west of the New Jersey Turnpike will likely see a coating to half-inch of snow accumulation. For the rest of the state, including the Jersey Shore and South Jersey, a dusting of snow accumulation is possible.
And that's it! Not much at all. This evening's snowfall is really only significant because it's (finally) the first of the season. And Wednesday morning's commute could be a bit wintry with the light accumulations, icy spots on the roads, and some bitterly cold temperatures...
Another Blast of Cold Air
As the snow tapers off, another arctic cold front will push across New Jersey. A "front" in weather-speak is simply the leading edge of a "different" air mass... in this case, it's a cold, dry air mass from the arctic reaches of northern Canada. As the arctic air arrives, winds will increase: sustained winds may reach 25 mph, with occasional gusts to 40 mph. Of course, temperatures will also nosedive tonight, to the upper teens to lower 20s.
That combination of cold and wind is never a fun one: the wind chill ("feels like") temperature will likely be in the single digits to teens by Wednesday morning. Not quite "dangerous" or "extreme" cold, but it's going to be an uncomfortably frigid, wintry morning.
Wednesday's high temperatures will peak around the freezing mark. However, wind chills will probably be stuck in the teens for most of the day.
A warming trend kicks in for Friday and Saturday, as statewide temperatures bump above normal into the 40s.
Another Storm System This Weekend
We continue to track a complicated storm system that will affect New Jersey on Saturday. The exact track and timing of the system represent the complicated part of the forecast - the weather impacts are becoming clear, and they don't include much wintry weather.
This morning's forecast models show the timing of any precipitation to occur between about 3 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, with the heaviest falling during the morning hours. This is another "mostly rain" event for New Jersey, with daytime temperatures surging well into the 40s and 50s. However, low temperatures on Saturday morning are expected to be in the 30s. With the thermometer close to the freezing mark in North Jersey, it could be cold enough to sustain a brief period of wintry mix early Saturday morning before turning to all rain.
Will Saturday be a total washout? Maybe - at least for the first half of the day. Forecast rainfall totals are around an inch.
Behind this system will come another influx of arctic air by Monday. Highs will be limited to the 30s. (Those frigid mornings don't make Mondays any easier!) Meanwhile, our next chance for some snow could come as early as Tuesday next week - we'll keep an eye on it.