By Meteorologist John Cifelli
I have made lighthearted references to looking forward to March several times over the last six weeks. Now that we have crossed that calendar threshold and are dealing with a second winter weather threat in the first three days of the month, perhaps we need to start focusing on April.
Tomorrow, low pressure north of the Great Lakes and a southwest flow across the eastern half of the country will bring another bout of wintry precipitation to New Jersey. Clouds will thicken and lower throughout the day, and by mid afternoon, light snow will break out across much of New Jersey, except perhaps extreme southern New Jersey and the southern coast, where precip will likely begin as sleet or rain.
As we move through the evening, snow will mix with and change to sleet and freezing rain. Where have we heard this before? It’s a similar situation to yesterday and last Saturday too. This one will have a lot less snow, and enough southerly flow at the surface to eventually change everything to plain rain for most of New Jersey.
Unfortunately that doesn’t happen until after the evening rush, which is going to be plagued by the wintry mix nearly statewide. Sleet will be a saving grace as it is the easiest to drive on of the different precipitation types, so if that’s what is falling at 5 p.m. tomorrow, consider yourself lucky. Freezing rain will be falling somewhere during the drive home, most likely between the 195 and Atlantic City Expressway corridors. This icing band will shift north throughout the night, and eventually temperatures will rise above freezing to encourage melting by Wednesday morning. Far northern New Jersey may hang on to the surface cold long enough to still have issues for the morning commute.
Wednesday is a cloudy, crummy day with the threat of showers persisting. Then a cold front slides through and stalls southeast of New Jersey. Moisture will ride along the front on Thursday, and we will likely see a rain to accumulating snow scenario. So winter continues for now.
Expect a coating to an inch of snow and sleet south of 195 tomorrow before a change to freezing rain, with a light glazing. From 195 northward, one to three inches of snow and sleet will fall tomorrow evening before up to 0.2 inches of ice can be expected. As usual, these icing situations are marginal, and subtle changes in surface changes can have a major impact on the forecast.