The seventh winter storm of February arrives in New Jersey. Let’s keep things really simple for this final update for the Thursday-Friday Winter Disaster. Let’s run through the forecast through a set of simple, easy-to-read statements, so you know what to expect and can plan your day (s) accordingly.
The bottom line
While not a historic, highly successful bread-and-milk storm, all of New Jersey faces snow and mixed ice during daylight hours on Thursday, leading to rapid deterioration in travel conditions.
I made exactly two adjustments to my forecast early this morning. 1.) I slightly lowered my snow totals to better match model trends and my intuition on snow versus sleet. 2.) I changed part of Monmouth County to a higher snow band given the initial radar trends. With the “keep things simple” mentality, I opted to keep only three colors on my final snow / impacts map, differentiating between significant impacts “mostly snow”, the “snow and sleet” zone, and the southern “snow and sleet” zone. rain “coast.
As of this writing, it is already snowing in most of the state. Until approximately 9 a.m. Thursday morning, the snow will fill with snow across the state.
The worst part of the storm
The snow will quickly turn from moderate to heavy, at approximately 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Approximately 75% of our total snowfall will occur during this period.
A noticeable pause
From Thursday afternoon to night and into the night, the intensity of the rainfall will be considerably lightened and more dispersed.
The final push of the snow
It is not over yet! The storm will be with us for most of Friday, with a final snow surge (and possible 1-2 “accumulations) from Friday morning through late afternoon. Final flakes expected around 8pm Friday. .
The sleet factor
As the mid-level atmosphere warms, the snowflakes will blend into an icy mix of snow, sleet, and rain in about the southern half of the state around noon. (The “orange” and “light blue” areas of my map above.) This area will continue to see some degree of “winter mixing” (as opposed to direct snow) until early Friday morning, at least. The immediate south coast will likely turn to plain rain at some point. Since ice granules (slush) are denser than snow, they do not accumulate as efficiently. It’s still going to be a muddy, icy mess, and cleaning up that mess won’t be any fun.
While my weather and forecast confidence is too limited this morning to put together a full “county by county” forecast, here’s a quick breakdown of snow accumulations across the state (usually by following the snow map I pasted above) :
“Atlantic County … 1 “coast, 3” west
“Bergen County … 5-7 “
“Burlington County … 2 “coast, 5” west
“Camden County … 3-5 “
“Cape May County … 1-2 “
“Cumberland County … 2-4 “
‘Essex County … 5-7 “
Gloucester County … 3-5 “
“Hudson County … 5-7 “
“Hunterdon County … 6-8 “
“Mercer County … 6-8 “
“Middlesex County … 6-8 “
“Monmouth County … 4 “shoreline, up to 8” inland
“Morris County … 4-7 “
“Ocean County … 2 “coast, 4” inland
“Passaic County … 4-6 “
“Salem County … 3-5 “
“Somerset County … 5-8 “
‘Sussex County … 4-6 “
“Union County … 5-8 “
“Warren County … 4-6 “
I included a “plus” on my snow map, to indicate that north-central New Jersey could see a total snowfall of up to 10 inches.
Also keep in mind that mild to moderate icing (due to sleet and freezing) is a concern for the southern half of the state. Those are the “orange” and “light blue” areas on my map above.
Not much of a concern this time, I’m happy to say. But on Friday, up to an extra foot of water in tidal waterways could cause minor flooding, especially in vulnerable areas that tend to flood with every storm.
TO Winter Storm Warning It is in effect for the northwestern counties of Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Inland Monmouth, Salem, Somerset, Sussex and Warren until 10 am Friday.
A less severe Winter weather warning covers most of the rest of the state through Friday.
There are no advisories at this time for the coastal county of Cape May.
The extended forecast
After the storm ends, our weather pattern will finally calm down. There are no major storms on the horizon.
The weekend will be sunny and dry, but cold. Highs will only come in the mid-30s, with a strong breeze adding a bite to the air on Saturday.
Our next storm system will arrive on Monday afternoon. It’s a fast cutting system, which will drop some snow on North Jersey and rain on South Jersey. About an inch of build-up is possible, not a big deal, but possibly enough to slide the roads a bit for the Monday night ride.
We are in the air!
We will be on your radio and computer with the latest storm information all day, all night, and also all day Friday. Be smart, stay safe, and stay warm!