By Meteorologist John Cifelli
High temperatures could do no better than the mid-20s today, with the “warm spot” being on the Cape May peninsula this afternoon. The mercury climbed to just 26! A light wind has it feeling like single digits or teens at best when you factor in the wind chill. Winds will relax tonight as temperatures settle into the single digits. This is the “calm before the storm,” as our next winter weather event is poised to affect New Jersey tomorrow.
Cupid’s arrows will find their target for the first half of the day, but by early afternoon, flurries will fly, with steadier light snow moving in for the evening. Overnight, periods of light snow will fall, blanketing New Jersey in a couple inches of light snow. As the night progresses, the clipper system responsible for the light snow will reach the coast, and rapidly deepen and intensify. At that point, the bigger deal will shift from light snow to significant winds. Sunday morning, snow should be finished everywhere except perhaps far northern New Jersey and New York City. The snow that has fallen will be light and powdery, which is easily blown about by strong winds. Blizzard conditions — 35 mph winds and visibility less than 1/4 mile due to snow — can occur in the morning, even if it isn’t snowing. Although the forecast is for only a couple inches, it will blow and drift in places. Sunday morning is going to be a very wintry scene, especially if you are close to the coast where winds will be strongest.
The low moisture content and light weight of the snow may end up being a real saving grace with regard to power outages. Dry, powdery snow tends not to cling to power lines and tree branches as much as wetter, heavier snow. Regardless, any time winds are howling the way they’re expected to, it is best to be prepared for an outage. In particular, the reinforcing blast of cold air coming for Sunday and Monday means you should have plenty of blankets, clothes, batteries, flashlights and candles. Candles can serve the dual purpose of providing some post-Valentine’s romance as well. Joking aside, being without power with temperatures in the single digits is dangerous. Have your emergency kit ready.
Monday night into Tuesday still looks to bring another round of snow to New Jersey. As previously mentioned, the evolution of the Saturday storm will dictate a lot of how the Monday night storm will develop and affect the Garden State.