Cold Week Expected (Dec 12-16)

Jonathan Carr
By Jonathan Carr December 11, 2016 19:42

Cold Week Expected (Dec 12-16)

First, a quick update on the current wintry event. Then we’ll break the week down…

The first batch of precipitation has moved through and is just leaving NENJ. Dew point temperatures were very cold/dry today, enough to evaporate most precipitation before it fell to the ground. This is called virga…when it shows up on the radar but nothing is falling outside. I would say the lower 2/3 of NJ saw mostly virga while the northern 1/3 saw trace accumulations that are ending for now.

The next batch of precipitation will move through overnight and into tomorrow morning. With this batch, the mid-levels should warm to the point of bringing rain to SNJ, possible ice to CNJ and more snow for NNJ. The theme will be the snow/rain line moving from S to N as the heavier core of precipitation arrives from the W. Again, SNJ should be a very quick changeover to rain with minimal icing concern. CNJ and lower elevations of NNJ need to be very careful through overnight/early AM hours because this represents the best ice threat. The mid-levels will warm enough for rain to fall but the surface could hold onto below-freezing temperatures which justifies the sleet/freezing rain concern. The elevations of NNJ should stay snowy the longest. I’m not prepared to say all snow for NNJ but definitely snowiest the longest.

In English: Light snow has fallen for parts of NNJ. We’re now entering a lull in precipitation but we should see much more overnight and into tomorrow morning. As this final round of heavier precipitation moves through, snow will change to ice and then to rain from S to N. SNJ should quickly go to rain. The biggest icing concern exists in the CNJ/NNJ area during overnight hours/early AM hours of tomorrow (let’s generally call it between I-78 and I-80). North of I-80 should be last to change over to ice/rain but by that time the surface could be disrupted with frozen precipitation. All precipitation should end around ~noon tomorrow from W to E. I would allow a little more time for the AM rush hour.

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Monday-Friday Disco: After this current system moves out, we’ll stay relatively milder until a weak system passes to our S Wednesday morning. At this point the system is not modeled to affect us but I’ll keep an eye on it in case it wants to come north. Otherwise the biggest story of the week will be another cold Arctic air mass (colder than this weekend) which should be well-felt by Wednesday night/Thursday morning. This gives us another chance at lake-effect snow as strong W/NW winds pass over the warmer Great Lakes. This Arctic air mass should then retreat into the weekend as we face another wintry system showing up in the Dec 17-19 period.

Monday (Dec 12) high temperatures should reach the upper-40s/lower-50s statewide. NNJ elevations might still be snowing but most areas should see rain ending around noon. Clouds might linger into the evening. Winds should be light out of the W/SW. Overnight lows should mostly fall below freezing statewide and possibly the teens for NNJ elevations. Immediate coastal regions might stay at or just above freezing.

Tuesday (Dec 13) high temperatures should reach the lower-40s statewide. Skies should be partly sunny. Winds should be light out of the W. Overnight lows should mostly fall below freezing statewide and possibly the teens for NNJ elevations. Immediate coastal regions might stay at or just above freezing.

Wednesday (Dec 14) high temperatures should reach the upper-30s for NNJ elevations and lower-40s for the rest of New Jersey. Skies should be mostly cloudy. Winds should be light out of the W. Overnight lows should fall into the 20s statewide with NNJ likely dipping into the teens as the Arctic front moves in from the NW.

Thursday (Dec 15) high temperatures (ready for this?) should struggle to break 32. Interior regions and especially NNJ elevations might stay in the 20s for highs. Skies should feature a mixed bag of sun and clouds but lake-effect snow flurries and snow showers are definitely on the table. Winds should be gusty out of the W/NW. Overnight lows should fall into the teens statewide with NNJ elevations possibly looking at single-digits. Lake effect snow chances should persist overnight into Friday.

Friday (Dec 16) high temperatures should again struggle to break 32 with many areas likely topping out in the 20s. Skies should be partly sunny. Winds should be light out of the W/SW. Overnight lows should again drop very low with single-digits possible for NNJ elevations and teens/20s for everyone else.

An early look at the weekend indicates temperatures warming up as the Arctic air mass departs. With that said, Saturday and Sunday could reach back up into the 30s and 40s for highs. Model guidance is indicating a mess as precipitation falls on the heavily-chilled ground. We’ll have to revisit this mid-week but I see more possible mixed-precip issues including snow and ice events. Have a great week and please be safe! JC

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Jonathan Carr
By Jonathan Carr December 11, 2016 19:42

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