By Meteorologist John Cifelli
Up to an inch of snow has already fallen today, mostly on unpaved surfaces across the sate. There will be a lull in the activity over the next couple of hours, before precipitation redevelops for a second round of accumulating snow after dark. Take a peek at the radar loop and you will see a band of intense snowfall rates crossing Pennsylvania. High resolution short term models suggest this hold together, and affects New Jersey between 7 and 9 p.m. Rates in that band will be one inch per hour. If you are out for dinner tonight, know where exactly that band is before you hit the road. You won’t want to be caught in it.
Snow will linger past midnight in eastern New Jersey, and then the winds take center stage. They will blow hardest before dawn, but by the time you wake up, wind chill values will be dangerously cold, as winds continue to gust past tropical storm force.
Snowfall totals will edge between the higher end of forecast ranges to an inch above. A general one to three inches to two to four inches seems likely now, with the largest amounts in north and east New Jersey from northern Ocean to Bergen and Passaic counties. For days now the possibility of a “Norlun” trough has been on the table, which would result in a narrow band of heavy snow extended longer into night. It looks all but certain that this rare feature will evolve, and the location appears to be honing in on northern Monmouth, Middlesex and maybe southern New York City. Here, snow will fall heavy at times this evening, and as advertised, snowfall accumulations will be augmented by this special scenario. As things wind down for the rest of New Jersey, the radar will clearly indicate who is going to see snowfall extend longer, and heavier. Whoever winds up under that band can expect five to eight inches by Sunday morning.