Light snow expected for Saturday

  • A couple of inches expected, particularly south

  • Snow begins around daybreak, ends mid-afternoon

  • Extreme cold continues for the foreseeable future

New Jersey will wrap up 2017 and welcome the new year firmly in the clutches of winter weather. After a period of light snow tomorrow, extreme cold is on tap for Sunday and New Year’s Day. Dangerous cold and a wintry pattern are on tap for the first several days of the new year as well.

A weak clipper system is pressing through the upper Ohio Valley as of Friday evening. The surface low is relatively moisture starved, but in this cold air mass, it doesn’t take much liquid equivalent to squeeze out a powdery accumulation. As the disorganized surface low slides east towards the mid-Atlantic, snow will spread into New Jersey near daybreak, or shortly thereafter. As the morning progresses light snow will spread across the state before winding down and ending mid to late afternoon. Snow will be very light north of 195, and just a bit steadier south. The amount of precipitation will depend on how quickly upper level energy transfers from the decaying primary low, to a developing area of low pressure to our east. I’ve seen enough instances where this jump happens quickly and the radar blossoms off the coast. In this case, snow would “hop” over the state, leaving us with just flurries. Snow won’t be much of a deal regardless, but it could get slippery midday, particularly in the southern half of the state. Expect an inch or so statewide, with a bit more south, and bit less the further north you go.

On the backside of the departing system, a reinforcing shot of Arctic air settles in for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Temperatures will be dangerously cold statewide. Expect daytime highs below 20F, and nighttime lows spilling into the single digits. A light breeze both days will bring wind chill values below zero. It won’t be a comfortable night to be in Times Square watching the ball drop.

The rest of the week will bring more cold, although not as extreme as Sunday and Monday. It will be relatively dry as well, with little if any snow expected through the week. The big weather story for New Jersey will be starting the new year needing a new set of thermals and a warm blanket!