Dec 4: Let’s Talk Snow

Jonathan Carr
By Jonathan Carr December 4, 2018 16:42

Dec 4: Let’s Talk Snow

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Discussion: We have two opportunities for snow this week. I don’t need to tell you that colder air is in place and it will stay over the Mid-Atlantic US well into next week. The first opportunity will likely be a very light event and probably only for SENJ (somewhere in the coastal Atlantic/Ocean/Monmouth County area). Originally we were tracking winter storm potential (for Dec 4-5)) but that system was squashed to the south via northerly suppression. It turns out that this system will try to throw a Norlun trough back into New Jersey once it departs the east coast region tomorrow (Dec 5). This means that a broad area of lifting could extend back from the ocean somewhere over SENJ. This area of lifting is capable of producing anything from just flurries and snow showers to a concentrated area of light snowfall. The biggest safety hazard with tomorrow is likely visibility-reduction not accumulation amounts (again only for parts of coastal SENJ). Above-freezing surface temperatures will likely inhibit snow accumulations on paved surfaces like roads, sidewalks, etc. Natural surfaces have the best chance to whiten up. The absolute worst case scenario should be 1-2 inches. The absolute least case scenario likely just a few flurries along the immediate coast. Again, visibility is the greatest safety risk NOT accumulating snowfall.

The next potential winter event is the late-weekend system that we’ve almost beaten to death already. There exists decent confidence that a wintry storm system will impact at least some of the S Mid-Atlantic (rain for SE US). The question is how far northward the precipitation shield can extend. Given the current modeled upper-level pattern, it wouldn’t take much to turn the storm slightly northward allowing accumulating snow into NJ. Precipitation shields tend to verify further N and W than modeled in many cases. With that said, SNJ has the best chance to see snowfall and NNJ has the least chance. It would take a heck of a shift at this point to bring accumulating snow into NJ. As of right now most model guidance takes the surface solution too far S of even SNJ but only by a slight bit. I’ll be watching for any trends north over the next few days as we enter the realistic forecasting range. Timing looks like late Sunday PM through early Tuesday AM. Let’s keep that window large and only narrow upon reasonable confidence.

In English: Light snow is possible for coastal SENJ tomorrow from late-morning through early-evening hours. The most realistic expectation are isolated snow flurries/showers with little-to-no accumulation on roadways. Right now coastal Atlantic, Ocean and Monmouth Counties are most-favored for such. Just to play it safe, let’s allow for up to an inch or two should the Norlun trough over-perform. Again, that would be mainly for natural surfaces only as road and surface temperatures in-general will likely be just above-freezing. The rest of the week looks cold and dry until whatever is going to happen in the Sunday-Tuesday period. Right now the storm is modeled to pass to the S of NJ but let’s allow for some north trending over the next few days. This second possibility has the chance to produce disruptive accumulations for NJ with even just a slight trend northward. With that said, SNJ would have a better chance to see snow from it than NNJ. It’s also very plausible that the system is simply just a miss to the south. It’s not a clear-cut solution at this point and more analysis is needed, especially in the next 24-48 hours. The storm signal is still very much alive however. I’ve seen systems modeled further to the S than this dump significant snow on NJ come storm time (Remember January 30, 2010?). Let’s see how everything looks tomorrow. I hope you are enjoying the new Weather NJ mobile app on Apple and Android . Have a great night and please be safe! JC

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Jonathan Carr
By Jonathan Carr December 4, 2018 16:42

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