Quiet and mild Monday — but rainy, snowy, very cold Tuesday
Veteran's Day Monday will be quiet, dry, and mild. But then a storm system arriving Tuesday will carry some serious arctic air with it. That will force a transition from rain to snow, and also lead to some frigid temperatures through the middle of the week. Let me remind you that it's only mid-November — accumulating snow and bone-chilling temperatures are both pretty unusual at this point of the season.
No problems! In fact, your Veteran's Day forecast looks great. Pockets of early sunshine will lead to increasing clouds through the afternoon. Morning temperatures are mainly frosty, with 30s across interior New Jersey. (Notably, parts of the coast are starting the day in the much-warmer 50s.) High temperatures Monday afternoon will push into the lower 60s for much of the state.
Temperatures won't drop much Monday night, as thermometers fall into the 40s by sunrise Tuesday. An isolated rain shower will be possible.
This is not a major winter storm — I've called it a "nuisance snow" and I stand by that description. Snow totals will be meager, thanks to a warm, wet ground and the lack of any strong atmospheric impulse. (This is also not a coastal storm or nor'easter.)
There are a few little adjustments to the forecast since my special Sunday snow blog posting. It looks like the precipitation will last longer into Tuesday afternoon. But because of ever-so-slightly warmer temperatures, we do not have to increase snowfall total expectations — in fact, most of our morning models have backed off of snow totals a bit.
In the next few sections, I want to focus on the timeline of Tuesday's transition from rain to snow, so you can plan your day accordingly. I'm going to use the NAM model precipitation type and 2-meter temperature forecasts to illustrate my forecast — just keep in mind these images represent one potential solution from one mesoscale model.
Tuesday Early Morning
Spotty rain showers could spread into New Jersey as early as Midnight, with scattered raindrops becoming more and more likely toward daybreak. Again, we're just talking about liquid precipitation at onset, as temperatures only dip into the 40s for most of New Jersey overnight. So you're facing a potentially wet Tuesday morning commute, but that's it.
Starting around 8 a.m., temperatures in NW NJ (both at the surface and aloft) will fall below freezing. That will force a quick transition from rain to wintry mix to snow. As the morning rolls along, cold and windy conditions will take over the entire northern and western sectors of the state.
Tuesday Late Morning
By late morning, the rain-snow line should be around the NJ Turnpike corridor. Temperatures still falling on a brisk wind.
The changeover continues. By lunchtime, most of the state will have flipped to a wintry mix of rain/snow or straight snow. Yes, I suspect even the Jersey Shore will see some snowflakes before this thing wraps up. This arctic air is no joke.
Snow should begin tapering in northwestern New Jersey around Noon Tuesday, wrapping up in the southeast corner of the state by around 5 p.m. As the very cold, very dry air takes hold of New Jersey's atmosphere, skies should quickly become crystal clear by Tuesday evening.
Tuesday Totals and Impacts
—For northwestern New Jersey (west of the NJ Turnpike and north of Interstate 195), up to an inch of snow accumulation is possible.
—The NJ Turnpike and Interstate 295 corridors could see a healthy coating to a half-inch of snow, mainly on grassy and other non-paved surfaces.
—In NJ's coastal counties, no more than a dusting or coating is expected.
Visibility may be reduced during periods of snow. And there may be some slippery spots as temperatures nosedive and our rain-snow transition takes hold. That's all.
(A reminder that I only make a snow map when widespread 2+ inches of snow is in New Jersey's forecast. So still no map for this one.)
By Wednesday morning, our new arctic air mass will be firmly in charge of our atmosphere. I believe we're facing widespread teens to start the day, near record lows. Even urban areas and the coast will experience a hard freeze.
Parts of the state may be stuck below freezing all day Wednesday. High temperatures will only reach the lower 30s, at best. That is about 25 degrees below normal for mid-November.
Thursday and Beyond: Better
Things should moderate somewhat on Thursday, as high temps climb into the lower to mid 40s. Still below seasonal normals, but we'll take it. A few models hint at an early morning shower or sprinkle, but I'm opting for a dry, partly sunny forecast for now.
South Jersey may hit 50 degrees on Friday, with sunny and dry skies. Long-range models show another cooldown for the weekend, as a coastal storm makes a fly-by. Precipitation chances seem low from that system, but it's still an uncertain forecast for now.