Two more winter storms this week: Ice is not nice, will it strike NJ twice?
UPDATE... This article is outdated...
For the latest winter storm forecast information, please refer to my newest weather blog post.
UPDATE as of 3:45 p.m. Sunday...
Forecast models have not backed off the idea of a quarter-inch of ice accumulation in North Jersey from Monday to Tuesday. And so, the National Weather Service has issued an Ice Storm Warning from 6 p.m. Monday to 10 a.m. Tuesday for Hunterdon, Morris, western Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties.
In addition a less-severe Winter Weather Advisory has been posted for the following areas for the following times:
--7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday... western Passaic county (Ice Storm Warning in effect immediately after).
--7 a.m. Monday to 7 a.m. Tuesday... eastern Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union counties.
--7 a.m. Monday to 10 a.m. Tuesday... western Bergen and eastern Passaic counties.
--1 p.m. Monday to 2 a.m. Tuesday... Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, inland Monmouth, Ocean, and Salem counties.
--1 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday... Mercer and Middlesex counties.
Ice is nasty business. Travel could become very treacherous, if not impossible. And damage to trees and power lines may lead to widespread power outages.
We'll have an even more detailed breakdown of the ice storm's timing, accumulations and impacts early Monday morning.
ORIGINAL POST from 9:21 a.m. Sunday...
Roses are red,
Ice is not nice.
As active weather continues,
Could it happen twice?
Happy Valentine's Day, one and all. Saturday's winter storm was certainly a memorable one. Icing conditions were just as bad as feared across the southern half of the state, as freezing rain caused a slippery, shiny glaze in many spots. The top ice accumulation reported was 0.21" at Atlantic City International Airport in Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County. Ice reports extended as far north as Mercer and Monmouth counties.
Beware of anything that looks wet Sunday morning, as it could be a sheet of solid ice. Radar is still picking up on some freezing drizzle around the state early Sunday morning, but we're almost done.
Now we look ahead to the continuation and grand finale of this hyperactive period of weather. Two more significant storm systems, driving in three periods of "inclement" weather. Once again, we've got quite the weather buffet on the menu for the week ahead, with ice, snow, and plain rain in the forecast. Conditions will range from treacherous to just wet.
Let's give a quick overview of what to expect — we'll dial in more precise details on timing, impacts, and accumulations as the week rolls along.
Models hint at a couple of little pieces of energy potentially passing by New Jersey, one in the early morning (south) and one in the late afternoon to evening (north). I've labeled the 5 Day Forecast with "light wintry mix". I have a feeling that we'll face a few waves of snow (north), sleet and freezing rain (central and inland south), and rain (coast). I do have some concerns about light icing. But to be clear, this is not a big, bad storm system — what falls from the sky should be limited in geography, spotty to scattered in spread, and light in intensity.
2.) Monday Night - Tuesday Morning
Another powerful storm system will impact New Jersey around the Midnight to Noon Tuesday time frame. Guidance over the past day or two has shown a clear trend toward this area low pressure tracking to the west and north of us — that puts the Garden State on the warm side of the storm.
So once again, this will NOT be a snowmaker storm. Significant sleet and freezing rain will be possible to the north and west this time, as the storm ramps up early Tuesday morning. And then, as temperatures warm after daybreak, we'll likely transition to just plain rain across the state.
Total ice accumulation? Some models are pumping out a half-inch of ice in North Jersey — that's insane, and would be a terrible scene for drivers, trees, and power lines alike. I think a tenth of an inch to a quarter-inch is a more reasonable estimate for the area along and northwest of the Route 1 corridor. Still very slippery, and potentially blackout-inducing.
Total rainfall? Could be close to an inch in that northwest sector of the state. Expect a half-inch to an inch south and east. Pretty wet and sloppy.
Total snowfall? Probably zero. You might catch some flakes early Tuesday morning, if it's colder than expected.
Because this storm is tracking so far inland, I am not concerned about rough surf, storm surge, or coastal flooding.
3.) Thursday - Friday Morning
Since this system is still 4 days away, I have to cast a wide net at the potential time frame. Let's call it 6 a.m. Thursday to 10 a.m. Friday.
This one is trending colder, and therefore presents our best chance of accumulating snow this week. (Possibly through the rest of the month.)
The most likely scenario seems to be a hit of heavy snow during the daytime hours Thursday. That timing is very concerning, with 3 to 6+ inches of accumulation possible within a few hours. (Again, we'll talk more definitive amounts and timeline later.)
Eventually, warming temperatures will cause a transition to wintry mix and then all rain through Thursday night and Friday. (And I do mean warm — we might hit 60 degrees in South Jersey by the end of this thing!)
I remain confident and optimistic that this will be the grand finale of our 3+ week long active weather pattern. Unfortunately, the calmer forecast won't come with warmth. Next weekend is looking quiet, but cold — temperatures may be stuck below freezing for the duration.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.