Three more storm systems aiming for NJ, then let the warmup begin
Bottom line: Friday will bring light snow and rain, Saturday shows a good chance of accumulating snow, and the system on Monday-Tuesday looks mostly rainy.
Our weather forecast remains uncomfortably active for almost the next week, and there are some snow chances to talk about. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, as sustained warmer temperatures are on the horizon!
We get to catch our breath on Thursday from the persistent meteorological onslaught of stormy, snowy weather. The fierce wind gusts from Wednesday have calmed, but it will remain breezy (15 to 25 mph) all day. It's a cold start to the day, with morning temperatures in the 30s and wind chills in the 20s. And it'll be a cool finish — even though skies will be spectacularly sunny, high temperatures will be limited to the mid to upper 40s. That's about 10 degrees below normal for early April.
Clouds will increase Thursday night, with most low temps dipping into the lower to mid 30s. The coldest spots in the state will experience a light freeze overnight.
Our next storm system will be a warm front lifting from southwest to northeast across New Jersey on Friday morning. Here's how this one should play out:
1.) Light snow spreads through the state before daybreak Friday morning.
2.) As temperatures rise, snow quickly transitions to all rain. Wet and/or slushy road conditions are possible.
3.) For most of the state, precipitation ends around Noon. Breaks of sun are possible by Friday afternoon.
4.) For North Jersey, we'll likely hang on to snow/rain through the afternoon. In this area of the state, a healthy coating of snow accumulation is possible.
So wintry impacts look limited for Friday, I'm happy to say. The biggest potential issue is timing — snow, mix, rain could make the morning commute a little bit messy.
Saturday's storm system looks far more impactful for New Jersey. Even though we are getting a better sense of timing and overall impacts, the latest model guidance muddies the accumulation forecast significantly with dubious temperatures and a lot of "wintry mix" as opposed to just rain or snow. Here's how this potentially wintry day looks to play out:
1.) Light precipitation arrives early Saturday morning, probably rain/mix at first.
2.) Cold front pushes temperatures down, from lower 40s in the morning to lower 30s by late afternoon.
3.) Transition from rain/mix to snow/mix throughout the day.
4.) Heaviest precipitation forecast for Saturday afternoon. (Mostly snow at that point?)
5.) Tapering Saturday evening.
The raw 00Z NAM surprisingly paints a bullseye of 6 to 10 inches in North Jersey. Wow! (Worth noting, the intermediate 06Z NAM shoves the peak snow potential south again with 3 to 7 inches in South Jersey.) The GFS model is much more consistent, with 3 to 6 inches in South Jersey with just a meager inch to the north. The Euro solution remains a bit strange, as the timeline is later (more like Saturday afternoon and night). It does concur that the top snow totals would be centered over southern NJ.
Given the poor model consensus and the complicated precipitation type forecast, I am not comfortable issuing a snow total forecast at this time. I'm growing increasingly confident that mixing is going to be a hinderance to "big" snow totals. But could we still see snow accumulation in that 3 to 6 inch range? Absolutely. Could everyone in New Jersey see sloppy travel conditions and some snow accumulation? Yup. I just can't lock in a specific, pinpoint forecast just yet.
Sunday will clearly be the quieter day of the weekend, with mostly sunny skies, light winds, and cool high temperatures in the 40s.
Our third storm system in the pipeline looks to arrive Monday afternoon. This one is "nor'easter-ish" — the storm system will pass through the mid-Atlantic states before skirting up the coast. New Jersey's temperature profile looks pretty warm for the duration, so I'm leaning toward a "mostly rain" forecast. Best chance of snow would be in colder North Jersey. We also have to remain vigilant to potential surf impacts from this one, given the close proximity of a strong low pressure system to the Jersey Shore by Tuesday morning.
After scattered showers end on Tuesday, our weather should (finally) begin to improve and warm dramatically. (Fingers crossed, we can finally put significant snow threats to bed for the season.) Could we hit 70s or 80s by next weekend??? (That's a rhetorical question, for now.)