WEATHER

Calendar says spring, weather says winter: More snow on the way

BY John Cifelli, Meteorologist |
  • Wintry pattern in place the next 2 weeks
  • Multiple chances of snow
  • Accumulations possible Sunday night

Here’s a somewhat painful lesson — the weather doesn’t adjust with the calendar! As we turn the page from March to April, an entrenched upper level pattern will keep air masses in place that spell below average temperatures that can support snowfall in the right circumstances. In this upper-level regime, the weather over the next two weeks looks very unsettled. We will see several rounds of precipitation, lots of cloud cover, and few warm, sunny days that many are yearning for. Depending on exact storm track, several of these precipitation events may bring snow.

The first chance comes Sunday night. As you’re wrapping up your Easter or Passover weekend, clouds will thicken towards the evening. A weak wave of low pressure will slip by to our south, spreading rain and snow across the state overnight towards daybreak on Monday. The key word hear is “weak.” As we get further into the spring, it takes a strong system to snow hard enough to come over the other environmental factors that contribute to snow accumulation. These are things like the higher sun angle and increased solar insolation, and warmer ground and pavement temperatures. We saw these impacts hinder accumulations during a couple of the March snow events.

This snow falls at night, but with the mild weather over the weekend, I don’t expect snow to fall hard enough to accumulate on roadways because surfaces will be above freezing. For now, this looks like a slushy inch or two on non-paved surfaces, north of a line from Philadelphia to Toms River. Give yourself a little extra time to clear the car and sidewalk Monday morning.

It’s not all gloomy — we will have a couple fine days in the forecast. Tomorrow will be brilliant with weather in the upper 50s and sunny. Monday looks nice after early snow or rain showers clear out. Tuesday and Wednesday look damp and seasonal, before a cold front sweeps through Wednesday night and Thursday. This potentially sets the stage for a more significant weather event for the weekend of the 7th and 8th. There’s plenty of model guidance painting a snowy forecast, but it’d be foolhardy to worry about it over a week out. The important takeaway is that the potential is there, and we are still a few weeks away from sustained spring-like weather. It looks like it will be one of those years where we go straight from winter to spring.