By Meteorologist John Cifelli
It’s been a winter that has been full of deep cold spells and snowfall near miss events in 2014-15. The next week looks to continue the seasonal trend of cold, and it remains yet to be seen whether or not several snow threats will materialize or not. The ground is still snow covered from roughly 195 northward, which only reinforces the chill over the Garden State. In the next seven days, a series of low pressure systems will pass near our area, bringing threats of winter weather and reinforcing the cold grip of Old Man Winter.
Tomorrow afternoon, a cold front will cross New Jersey as a moisture-starved clipper system scoots by to our north. Expect some light winds to usher in a reinforcing blast of cold as we approach evening, with a round of snow showers or flurries to further remind us what season we’re in. There could be a coating, particularly across the northern half of the state as the front passes. Expect single digit lows across much of New Jersey Thursday night and Friday, with highs in the teens across most of New Jersey on Friday. Wind chills Friday morning will be at or below zero, so warm up the car and bundle up well before heading out.
Our next real threat for snow comes Saturday afternoon into Sunday. Low pressure dives south from Canada into the western Great Lakes, before redeveloping and strengthening off the northern mid-Atlantic coast. This isn’t an ideal track for a New Jersey snowstorm, but it is a very potent system that bears serious watching. The ample upper level energy and extremely cold air in place makes the storm a real powder keg. It will rapidly deepen and cause a significant snowstorm for New England (where they are already dealing with historic snowfall totals over the last six weeks). Whether or not the primary surface low from Canada travels far enough south and west to get New Jersey in on the action remains yet to be seen. For now, a low end accumulating snow event looks very likely for northern New Jersey and New York City. We will have to watch this one closely.
One thing is for certain, as the weekend low rapidly strengthens once it is out to sea, the northwest winds on its back side will again blast the mid-Atlantic with deep cold. It’s another 36 to 48 hours of highs in the teens and lows in the single digits for Sunday night and Monday. This will set the stage for another possible winter weather event for Monday or Tuesday.
So plenty of winter to be had over the next week. Some of the cold will be dangerous to be exposed to for lengths of time. Be very aware, bundle up and stay warm!