Two rain-snow chances aiming for New Jersey: Thu-Fri, Sun-Mon
Internet hype is growing about our active weather pattern, suggesting some big snow days are on the way for New Jersey. Yes, we could see several rounds of wintry weather in the next week. Yes, there's still some uncertainty. But no major snow events are expected at this time.
We're kicking off February Thursday with a chilly morning — temperatures have fallen into the upper 20s to lower 30s for most of New Jersey. It will be a mild day, with high temperatures expected to peak between 45 and 50 degrees. Look for mostly cloudy skies, along with a few flurries and/or sprinkles through the first part of the day.
Our storm system will start pushing into northwestern NJ Thursday afternoon, drifting into the rest of the state by Thursday evening. Again, it's going to start as rain, all rain, and nothing but rain. If you have a late commute this evening, you might get a bit wet.
Late Thursday night, as temperatures cool, we will experience a brief transition from rain to snow. This may happen in North Jersey just before Midnight, but for the rest of the state it will most likely happen between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m.
The ground will be warm and wet and the snowfall will be light and brief, limiting our snow accumulation potential. Still, I think a healthy coating is possible for most of the state. To the northwest, the first locale to transition from wet to wintry, we could end up with a half-inch to an inch on the ground.
Regardless of how much white stuff accumulates on the ground, I am concerned that Friday morning's commute could be messy. As snow showers taper off right around sunrise, roads could have some combination of ice, slush, snow, and/or water. You may want to plan to wakeup a few minutes early on Friday to compensate.
Behind the snow, a cold front will clear skies and introduce a brisk northwesterly wind (gusting to 30 mph). Temperatures will fall throughout the day, from the lower 30s early Friday to the frigid lower 20s by Friday evening.
That will set us up for a cold, albeit quiet, start to the weekend. Saturday will be sunny and dry, but thermometers will struggle to make it to 30 degrees. A stiff breeze up to 20 mph will make the day extra-bone-chilling.
The forecast for Sunday gets busy again, as our next storm system approaches. This one has a coastal component, which are often big snowmakers for the Garden State. However, the current consensus track puts the center of circulation well west of New Jersey. That means we'll be on the warm side of the storm. Yup, that means it's going to be another "mostly rain" system.
Not exclusively rain, though. Models suggest a possible snow shower Sunday morning, with the "main event" holding off until mid-to-late afternoon Sunday. High temperatures will be in the lower 40s, leading to the wet forecast call for now.
I have two concerns regarding the Sunday-Monday storm: 1.) Northwest Jersey could be just barely cold enough to sustain a few inches of accumulating snow, and 2.) If the system wiggles (significantly) to the east and we end up on the cold end of the storm, we may have to introduce wintry weather through the rest of the state. Just things to watch as this forecast continues to evolve.
The next-next-next potential storm system is scheduled for next Wednesday. While the forecast is highly subject to change in the coming week, I'm thinking temperatures will also struggle to sustain "all snow" once again.