Monday seems sloppy, with rain and some wet snow


This storm is NOT the big one

Just to be crystal clear – I am just talk about something Monday’s storm in this post. It’s the first of two systems to target New Jersey this week. And it will almost certainly be less effective.

THE following in the Wednesday-Thursday time frame, the upstream system is really watching. It is still too early to see concrete details about the potential nor east – although significant snow, rain, wind and coastal flooding seem very likely. Sunday afternoon, I will post a detail about what we know (and what we don’t).

Overview

As the colder air returns to New Jersey and throughout the northeast Sunday through Monday, Monday, a low-pressure area swirls in Virginia. So Garden State will be on the north side of the storm system – on the colder side. But the temperature doesn’t quite support the whole snow / ice event. Nevertheless, an inch of rain in South Jersey and limited snow / ice / crate accumulation in North Jersey mean a sloppy day overall. Especially because the worst time will come in the middle of the day.

timeline

The first raindrops arrive from the west on Monday morning (around 9 a.m.). The initial precipitation could be snowy or mixed in northern New Jersey (if the storm gets that far).

Starting at noon (noon), when temperatures continue to drop, the rain changes to snow along the NJ Turnpike Corridor and to the northwest.

Precipitation decreases when the storm starts in the early evening (17:00)

Accumulation

Not surprisingly, critical pieces of this snow accumulation are here: 1.) when the change from rain to snow occurs, 2.) how quickly the snow adheres to the (wet) soil, and 3.) how much snow falls and accumulates. I think we have a pretty good model consensus on aspect 1. # 2 always seems to happen faster than expected. So for the “sweet spot,” where the accumulation actually occurs, this prediction depends on the intensity of snowfall # 3.

Please see the forecast map above for a visual representation of our latest snow forecast:

– Too far north … In northern New Jersey, around Sussex and Warren counties, the snow (or at least a winter mix) is likely to get pretty cold at first. However, the middle of the storm system will be 300 miles away. So I’m not sure if significant strips of precipitation will get to North Jersey to accumulate a lot of snow. This corner of the state is a 1-2 “ province for now.

– The sweet spot … In the area, usually northwest of the Corridor 1, the rain quickly turned to snow by lunchtime, accumulating until the afternoon. There may be minor travel effects at this stage 1-3 “ fresh snow on the ground by the end of the day.

– Some insist … By the end of the storm, the rain-snow line may drift south to Corridor I-195 and east to Corridor I-295. While this is probably the most uncertain piece of this snow forecast, let’s not rule it out healthy coating and / or some slippery spots in the southwestern and central parts of the northwestern region.

-Too hot… Southern and coastal New Jersey, this is not a storm. Well, if you like rain, rain and more rain. Don’t expect winter – but the cold, uncomfortable rain is still a pretty lucky day.

If anything, I think I’m conservative with my snowfall estimates here, especially in the northern quarter of the state. Earlier estimates of snowfall were much higher than this storm, in the 4-8 “range. But the forecast shows a warmer and gentler trend over time. So while I wouldn’t rule out some overpowering – a 4-inch, maybe – I don’t think New Jersey would face a big snowstorm here.

Impacts / actions

Overall, Monday will be a rather awkward and sloppy day across the state, no matter what falls from the sky. But still, it’s a minor winter weather event – no big snow, no flooding, no coastal flooding, no wind. (Of course, the Wednesday-Thursday storm will be a different matter.)

The worst part of this weather event? It happens right in the middle of the day. “9-5” storm. Which means the weather and road conditions are drastically different between morning and evening commuting.

It will also be a dynamic storm system. Rain temperature, which forces a change in the type of precipitation, gives some “fuzziness” to the forecast. It will be very important to be aware of changing circumstances. (And stay tuned for the latest forecasts too!)

So what do you need to do to prepare for Monday? Maybe nothing. At the very least, consider your travel plans (including commuting to work / school). If you have not already done so, dig the paddles and cold weather equipment out of storage.

Next update

I plan to forecast my next blog on Sunday afternoon. As I mentioned, this will focus primarily on the high-impact weekday storm. But I’ll certainly update Monday’s sloppy forecast as well.

Dan Zarrow is a leading meteorologist at Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and real-time weather updates.