Winter Weather, But Snow is Not NJ’s Big Weather Story
As a Meteorologist, the weather never ceases to amaze me. There's been a lot of talk regarding our impending arctic blast, and with good reason. The sheer size and magnitude of this cold air mass is really incredible. Here in New Jersey, we'll face single-digit temperatures and -15 degree wind chills on Thursday morning. Potentially dangerous.
Northern Minnesota? Temperatures as low as -40, and wind chills as low as -60! Potentially life-threatening.
Freezing temperatures and light snow may even end up within a county or two of the Gulf of Mexico!
Of course, the door to the arctic will open for the Garden State on Wednesday. We have a little storm system and wintry weather to get through first.
Winter Weather Advisory
As a clipper system passes north of New Jersey, we are expecting some light to moderate precipitation throughout Tuesday. The forecast hasn't changed much in the last day. The northwest corner of the state (especially north of I-78 and west of I-287) will see almost all snow from this storm from late Tuesday morning through early Wednesday morning, totaling 3 to 5 inches of accumulation. For the rest of the state, a period of rain Tuesday afternoon will limit snow totals to about an inch (give or take).
Bottom line: Not a major winter storm, although certainly impactful to the north and west. Travel conditions could get messy as the entire state transitions to snow Tuesday night. The heaviest, most widespread snowfall is expected between about 8 p.m. Tuesday evening and 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. Accumulations will be slow at first, given wet roads, but low visibility and slippery roads are a concern for the overnight hours through Wednesday morning's commute.
Because of the risk for sloppy roads, a Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for the following counties for the following times:
--Until Midnight... Hunterdon, Mercer, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, Warren.
--Until 6 a.m... western Bergen,
On Wednesday morning, temperatures will climb to about the 30-degree mark before arctic air returns to New Jersey. A fierce westerly wind will kick up, potentially gusting between 40 and 60 mph. Not only will that wind carry a bit bite, but it will be strong enough to cause minor damage, driving difficulties, and power outages.
I'm pretty sure temperatures will nosedive into the single digit temperatures by Wednesday evening.
Thursday morning will be the worst of the worst, with near-record temperatures between -4 and 6 degrees. (That is at least as cold as last Monday's frigidity.) The wind chill will be between -5 and -15 degrees.
Remember, the wind chill is not just the "feels like" temperature — it is an indicator of how the combination of cold and wind will impact human health. The biting wind can literally freeze exposed flesh, leading to frostbite within 30 minutes. Meanwhile, the wind carries away your body heat quite efficiently, making you feel much colder and increasing the risk for hypothermia. When the wind chill is below zero, it is literally hazardous to your health — i.e. "potentially dangerous".
The wind chill will stay at or below zero all day Thursday. It will be sunny and breezy, with wind gusts to 30 mph. High temperatures will only reach the upper teens across most of the state. That's 20 degrees below normal for late January. That's ridiculous.
The Cold Continues
Friday doesn't look much warmer, with highs in the lower 20s. Winds will lighten up though, so that will bump us out of the dangerous cold category. The GFS is still picking up on a quick burst of snow in South Jersey. But it's still the only model showing that solution, so I'm still leaving it out of my on-air forecast.
Saturday will remain unseasonably cold, with highs in the lower 30s under mostly sunny skies.
Increasing clouds and increasing temperatures are expected for Sunday, with highs improving to the lower 40s.
50 degrees will be a possibility in South Jersey on Monday. If that warmth does play out, it means our next storm system Monday night into Tuesday would be wet, not wintry.