Cold snap continues for NJ – Thursday night will be frigid
We have several more days and nights of unseasonable cold, with a few snowflakes thrown in too.
As you know, I was adamant that New Jersey would see only minor snowfall from Wednesday night through Thursday morning. And I was partially correct — as of this writing, snowfall totals are generally around an inch. However, I made one large error in describing the impacts: I said there would be "no travel impacts for Thursday morning's commute."
Unfortunately, there will be problems on New Jersey's roads and rails early Thursday, and several school delayed openings have been reported as well. What happened? I underestimated the effect of the frigid temperatures — because it's so cold, snowflakes were able to stick to road surfaces immediately. In addition, I miscalculated the snow ratio, and therefore snow totals will exceed my forecast across the entire state. An inch or two of accumulation still falls in the minor category, but it's a forecast "miss" nonetheless.
The last band of steady snow will rapidly charge across the Garden State through 7 a.m. with residual snow showers through about 10 a.m. Then skies will become mostly sunny. While it will be breezy, winds on Thursday (20 mph) will not be as gusty as Wednesday (up to 53 mph). While it will be unseasonably cold, temperatures should climb above freezing for a few hours Thursday afternoon — forecast highs for the Garden State range from the mid to upper 30s.
And then it's going to get cold. Very cold. Mostly clear skies, very dry air, light winds, and a snow-covered ground will present the perfect setup for a frigid night. I believe most of New Jersey will fall into the teens overnight. While record lows will probably remain intact, this will easily be our coldest night since early March.
Models show a mostly cloudy day for Friday, and high temperatures will settle back into the lower 30s. Just like Wednesday, there may be spots in the state that remain below freezing all day.
In addition, a very weak storm system will graze New Jersey throughout the day Friday. I have put a chance for light snow showers in the forecast, but accumulations will be limited to a dusting at best.
A slow warmup will begin this weekend. But "warm" is a misnomer — I believe temperatures for both weekend days will remain below normal. (Mid-December normals are in the mid 40s.)
Saturday looks sunny, but blustery with winds back in the 15 to 20 mph range. Thermometers will generally reach into the 35 to 40 degree range.
We should see 40s on Sunday, along with increasing clouds. A chance for scattered showers will develop Sunday night — it looks like just a bit of rain.
The warmup continues for early next week, with 50s likely for Monday and especially Tuesday. But before temperatures can get too balmy, another cooldown will probably take over by midweek.