7 things you need to know about this weekend’s frozen mix – tech2.org

7 things you need to know about this weekend’s frozen mix

1. Introduction

America is a mess right now. Well maybe I should say cold disorder. Arctic air has invaded everything but Florida and the desert of the Southwest. A powerful winter storm in the middle of the country has triggered warnings that extend from the Canadian border in Washington to the Mexican border in Texas. At least 33 of the 48 contiguous states have some type of winter advisory, watch or watch in effect on Saturday.

Weather Advisories, Alerts, and Advisories for the contiguous United States, beginning Saturday morning. (Fundamental climate)
High temperature forecast for Saturday, according to the NWS NDFD. (Fundamental climate)

And that includes New Jersey, of course. As we’ve discussed all week, our next storm system is do not incredibly powerful or well organized. And it definitely won’t be a great snow generator for New Jersey. But it will reach a specific temperature profile conducive to an icy mix of sleet and freezing rain. And even a light layer of ice is enough to make conditions very slippery and treacherous.

We are also continuing to track two more storm systems that are targeting New Jersey next week. There have been some interesting developments in the latest models.

2.) Time

-Start… The winter mix precipitation will arrive from southwest to northeast between Saturday morning (10 AM) and afternoon (2 PM).
-Effort… The heaviest rainfall and the greatest threat to icy conditions will be from Saturday afternoon (3 PM) until sunset (10 PM).
-The end… Bad weather conditions should gradually improve on Sunday morning (6am to noon)

The high-resolution NAM forecast for Saturday afternoon shows a wintry mix of precipitation over New Jersey. Blue = snow, pink = sleet, purple = freezing rain, green = rain. (DuPage School of Meteorology)

3.) Accumulations

-Snow… Up to an inch possible (although unlikely), especially in the far north.
-Ice… About a tenth of an inch for most of the state. Less to the north and along the immediate coast.
-Rain… Up to 0.30 “of rain can fall, especially along the immediate shoreline.

4.) Impacts

Ice is a nasty business. Freezing rain in particular would be the worst case here. Remember, that looks, feels, smells, and tastes like normal liquid rain until it hits a sub-zero surface. It is then instantly frozen to solid ice. Instant skating rink.

GFS forecast for Tuesday morning. This solution suggests that New Jersey will end up on the warm (rainy) side of the storm. (DuPage School of Meteorology)

I wouldn’t hang my hat on that forecast as things may go back to the cold side again. (Past testing has suggested both double-digit snowfall totals and a half-inch of ice accumulation in New Jersey.)

If anything, it is a sign that this forecast is still low confidence and quite complicated. Remember, chaos theory dictates that the weather forecast game works best when we take it one storm at a time. We’ll handle better next time once the weekend’s ice storm clears.

7.) The next next storm

The grand finale of this hyperactive weather period is still scheduled for late next week, in the Thursday through Friday time frame.

And guess what. Like Tuesday’s storm, it has a northwesterly trend and is therefore rainier. Even so, the current model consensus shows some snow accumulation at the beginning. And with 5 days until the first flakes / drops, it can definitely change again.

GFS forecast for early Friday morning when another storm system passes through New Jersey. Possibly another rainmaker? (DuPage School of Meteorology)

I am very hopeful that we will have a break from the constant onslaught of major storm systems starting next weekend. We might even see a brief (big) warm-up late next week. However, if you are looking for a sustained warming of longer duration, you will unfortunately have to wait until March.

Twitter to get the latest real-time weather forecasts and updates.

WEATHER: Why this weekend’s potential ice storm is very concerning


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