Bands of Heavy Snow Could Impact Evening Commute
Several inches of snow accumulation are expected in Central and South Jersey, and bands of moderate to heavy snow could make for a challenging evening commute.
UPDATE as of 2:30 pm Wednesday…
So far, the snow has been admittedly slow to arrive. All afternoon, I’ve been sweating over the radar, on which the snow bands have been getting "stuck" along the Delaware River and the Delaware Bay. I suspect the reason for the snow "force field" has been a too-dry atmosphere. Now that the atmosphere has moistened up, moderate to heavy snow is quickly filling in from south to north across New Jersey. This evening's rush hour still looks potentially rough in South Jersey. In fact, the heaviest precipitation bands of the day are, as of this writing, pushing northeastward through Maryland.
So, given the fact this storm still has a while to go before it’s done, I’m going to keep my snow total forecast the same. (See below.) Although I am strongly leaning toward the lower end of that 1 to 3 inch forecast range north of I-195. North Jersey still looks to miss the accumulation.
We’ll taper off to scattered, light snow showers around 8 or 9 o'clock tonight, which will last through part of the overnight. By daybreak tomorrow, the flakes should be totally done. Tomorrow and Friday will be quiet, but cold, before another potentially more significant storm system arrives on Saturday.
Original post from this morning…
Today will be a wintry day for much of New Jersey, as a clipper system pushes past the southern half of the state. The snow bullseye for this storm appears to be along and southeast of the Philadelphia metro area, with pockets of 3 to 5 inches of snow expected.
From Ocean and Monmouth counties up through Middlesex, Somerset, and Union counties, the current forecast is for 1 to 3 inches. Keep in mind, not everyone will see accumulating snow - Sussex and Warren counties may see nothing more than a flurry. And along the immediate coastline, warmer temperatures and rain may prevent snow from accumulating until later tonight, making for lower snow totals.
Our standard computer forecast models have struggled with this storm. All week, I’ve been talking about the constant struggle over cold-enough-temperatures and a moist-enough-atmosphere. Everything came together nicely last night, and the best solution included higher precipitation and colder temperatures. We can now be fairly confident that South Jersey will see the biggest snow totals, Central Jersey will see marginal snow accumulations, and North Jersey will see hardly anything at all.
While the forecast impacts and intensity of this clipper system have fluctuated widely so far this week, the timeline of this storm has never really been in question. First snowflakes and/or raindrops will push into the western part of the state by 11am. The heaviest bands of snow are expected in the 3pm to 9pm window tonight. That means the evening commute is going to be quite challenging, with icy, slushy, and/or wet roads (depending where in the state you're driving). The snow will taper off into the "light" range during the late evening and overnight hours, and should be done by daybreak Thursday morning.
The extended forecast has quiet weather for Thursday and Friday. But Saturday isn’t looking pretty - a coastal storm system is currently forecast to bring more significant snow and rain to New Jersey. I don’t want to get too specific on that part of the forecast until after our current clipper system moves through… but if you have any weekend plans, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the weather forecast as Saturday approaches.