WEATHER

More snow forecast as delayed spring continues

BY John Cifelli, Meteorologist |
  • Colder and windy Wednesday behind the cold front
  • Light snow possible in northern New Jersey Friday morning
  • More substantial storm for the rest of the state likely on Saturday

It seems that every week I am writing about a remarkable late season snow threat further and further into the “spring” season. There are several possibilities for snow in New Jersey over the next seven days. Anomalous broad-scale weather events result in anomalous upper level patterns, and ultimately anomalous real experienced weather down at the surface. That’s the blueprint we’ve been following for the last six weeks or so. It continues for the time being.

Before we get into the snow chances, we have some interesting weather Wednesday. A cold front is pressing through the state. It will touch off a round of showers and thunderstorms through early afternoon before exiting the coast. Behind the front, temperatures will be knocked down a bit, or a lot, depending on where you are in the state. As of late Wednesday morning, there was a 25-degree temperature gradient between Hunterdon and Burlington Counties. North of a warm front draped along 195, it was cloudy, foggy, and in the 40s. Meanwhile in the south, it was sunny in the low 70s. Winds are going to blow hard behind the front, as well. The National Weather Service has the entire state in High Wind Warnings (west) or Wind Advisories (east).

Our first chance for some snow comes Friday. A Clipper system will scoot by to our north, bringing a push of warm air across the state Friday morning. This will touch off some snow and rain showers. Any chance for accumulations will be limited to north of Route 80 or so. Whether or not that happens will depend on timing. It doesn’t look likely to fall hard enough to matter on roadways once the sun is up. There could be some delays Friday morning in northern New Jersey, if snow starts a few hours before dawn.

Next up is a system on Saturday that shows much more potential. A wave of low pressure will slide to our south and east, spreading precipitation across the mid-Atlantic and into southern New England. There are still multiple possibilities for how this system plays out. It could essentially act as a slow-moving cold front, sweeping the region with a shorter duration, lower impact event. If upper level energy is more consolidated, then the corresponding surface low would be stronger, bringing a greater likelihood of accumulating snow. Of course, I’ll play the broken record line about higher sun angle this time of year, and the need for snow to fall heavily to accumulate during the daytime. This will be mostly a daytime event, and the air mass, while cold for this time of year, will lend itself to wet snow, which melts more easily. There’s plenty of time yet to figure out how this one will play out, but central and northern New Jersey are likely to see accumulating snow at some point Saturday. Southern New Jersey, right now, looks more wet than white.

After any lingering precipitation clears early, the rest of Sunday looks clear and cold. It will feel like early March instead of mid-April. Monday looks similar before another rain or snow threat approaches Tuesday.

The good news is that this pattern should begin to break down by mid-month. We should see true springlike weather in the coming weeks. Relief is on the way!