No end in sight to NJ extreme cold spell, some snow this weekend
Tired of winter yet, New Jersey? Too bad.
Here are your headlines for Friday, December 29, 2017...
Arctic Blast Tidbits
--Friday morning is starting off with temperatures between 3 and 15 degrees (even colder than Thursday morning). Some wind chills have fallen below zero — as we've been discussing all week, that is "dangerous" cold territory.
--High temperatures will be limited to the mid 20s on Friday, once again about 15 to 20 degrees below normal for late December.
--Layers are your friend. It's very important to bundle up warmly against this extreme cold, covering as much exposed skin as possible.
--Given the unrelenting length and intensity of this unseasonable cold, I am concerned we're going to start seeing problems with our basic infrastructure. Water mains are not only more prone to breakage in frigid temperatures, but also more difficult to control and repair as water spillage immediately turns to ice. Similarly, firefighting becomes way more difficult and dangerous in extreme cold.
--Looking ahead, there's a chance that a piece of South Jersey climbs just above freezing on Saturday and again on Wednesday. Otherwise, according to the latest model info, we won't see widespread above-freezing temperatures in New Jersey until January 7 (at the earliest).
--The coldest day still looks to be New Year's Day (Monday). As we ring in 2018, the thermometer will end up around 11 degrees, with a wind chill near -3. Statewide highs on Monday may not break 20 degrees.
We've been carefully monitoring a storm system aiming for New Jersey to begin the final weekend of the year. And it still looks like it will be just a minor inconvenience for the Garden State, with widespread snow but mainly insignificant snow totals.
I believe the entire state will see some flakes during the daytime hours on Saturday. I've used several methods of estimating snowfall totals — mostly overestimating because very cold, dry snow can accumulate very quickly. (In meteorological speak, the snow ratio is going to be off the scale.) I believe an inch or two of fluffy, light snow accumulation is a good bet across New Jersey.
That's it — no foot of snow, and no blizzard (as some of my meteorological colleagues suggested earlier this week).
By the way, the other "worth-watching" winter storm in the forecast for next week? It has shifted off-shore. Of course, it could drift back into our neighborhood as the forecast continues to evolve, so we'll continue to watch.