Mild Weekend Expected (Feb 19-21)
We’re well below freezing tonight through tomorrow morning but temperatures then look to moderate for the weekend. Then we’re likely going to have to deal with a coastal low pressure system bringing rain, wind and coastal flooding to the Jersey Shore while at the same time threatening NWNJ with snowfall accumulations. But that’s after a smaller and lighter event Sunday night into Tuesday. Let’s break it all down.
Friday (Feb 19) high temperatures should reach the mid-to-upper 30s statewide. Maybe lower 40s along the SNJ coast. Skies should be partly cloudy. Winds should be light out of the E/SE. Weather Geek Note: Since ocean surface temperatures are in the upper-30s, the E/SE flow will be buffering the micro-climate near said expected high temperatures. Overnight lows should range from upper-20s for NNJ elevations to mid-30s along the SNJ coast. Overnight snow showers are possible from a system passing to our north, more favorable for NNJ.
Saturday (Feb 20) high temperatures should range from low-to-mid 50s statewide. I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone crack 60. Skies should feature a mixed bag of sun and clouds. Winds should be breezy out of the SW. Overnight lows should drop into the 30s (40s for SNJ/coast).
Sunday (Feb 21) high temperatures should range from upper-40s for NNJ elevations to mid-50s along the SNJ coast. Skies should feature a mixed bag of sun and clouds. Winds should be light out of the W. Overnight lows should drop into the upper-30s/lower-40s statewide. The latest short-range model guidance is indicating a weak passing low pressure disturbance Sunday night into Monday.
The Sunday-Monday weaker system could bring light snowfall to NNJ and rain to SNJ. That’s how it is modeled right now. I’m sure that will shift N/S between now and Sunday but I’ll make sure to stay on top of it.
The higher impact Tuesday-Wednesday coastal low pressure system is still modeled strongly on ensemble guidance. Surface solutions are still all over the place but ensembles have ticked a bit west which would mean a warmer solution. I’m sticking to my plan of giving it through the 12Z model suite on Sunday before making my first winter storm impact map.
I can say from experience and with confidence that higher late-February sun angle, the lack of true Arctic air and 39F ocean surface temperatures traditionally prevent snowfall accumulations along and SE of the I-95 corridor unless the low passes well offshore with a high pressure stacked to its N. That is a lot of moving parts. Snow along and SE of the I-95 corridor with this setup is therefore a thread the needle situation. It has happened before though. NNJ (NWNJ moreso than NENJ) is traditionally more favorable for snowfall accumulations this time of year.
Probably the most important part of this discussion is now the coastal flooding possibility along the shore and in back bays. We have a full moon that will time poorly with rain and a period of onshore flow wind-driven storm surge. This is another concern that I will be following as well heading into the weekend, not just the snow possibility.
In English: Tonight will be cold. Tomorrow will begin to moderate. Saturday and Sunday look relatively mild and dry. Sunday night into Monday could feature light precipitation, possibly light snow for NNJ and rain for SNJ. Tuesday-Wednesday looks like a coastal low pressure system impacting the region with snow for points NW and rain, wind and coastal flooding for points SE.
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I took this image the other night across the Barnegat Bay. Have a great weekend and be safe! JC