By Meteorologist John Cifelli
Another bone-chilling cold night has given way to winter brilliance this Sunday, with sunshine and light southerly winds bringing the relatively warmer upper 30s to New Jersey this afternoon. It was a stellar weekend weather wise, maybe you took in a sunny and cold afternoon on the ski slopes. Conditions were great. Unfortunately it looks like there will be slipping and sliding on the sidewalks and roadways for much of New Jersey tomorrow, as an overrunning type event brings sleet and freezing rain to our morning commute.
It’s hard to believe given the strong cold we have felt all week that we aren’t talking snow, but aloft, there is a different story, temperature-wise. Even far northern New Jersey this go around isn’t primed for a snow event. Instead, as a weak wave of low pressure develops along or just east of the coastal plain, the slug of moisture currently in the Mississippi Valley will bring sleet and freezing rain to the area, beginning before dawn.
The path of the developing low will dictate how quickly we transition from frozen precipitation to plain rain. There are two different camps of forecast models, the first presenting the idea that we are dealing with plain rain by rush hour, the other representing enough ice to make the morning commute treacherous. Remember that it only takes a light glazing to make driving dangerous.
Precipitation begins predawn, west to east. The morning commute will likely be hazardous for everyone north and east of the Turnpike including the cities, and into Monmouth and northern Ocean counties away from the immediate coast. As the morning progresses, warmer air will filter from the south, and surface temperatures will rise above freezing. Rain will continue throughout the day, particularly in southern New Jersey, where up to an inch of rain looks to fall.
Tomorrow night things wind down, possibly ending as a little sleet or snow in northern New Jersey. It looks like could be more wintry weather this week as the pattern remains active.