Cold Week Expected (March 4-8)

Jonathan Carr
By Jonathan Carr March 4, 2019 12:19

Cold Week Expected (March 4-8)

Discussion: Let’s have a quick storm recap. It is March which means most of NJ, especially those along the I-95 corridor and SE, are battling climatology and higher sun-angle. Therefore it takes tremendous rates of snowfall (like what NNJ saw) to accumulate on paved surfaces this time of year. Snow will accumulate much easier on colder/natural surfaces like grass, trees and parked/non-running vehicles. With that said we saw a few key trends in the 5 days or so leading up to last night. The storm first started with a modeled jackpot axis only clipping NWNJ with the entire lower-2/3 of NJ warm and rainy. Then it trended S and more progressive. While this brought more of NENJ and CNJ into higher snow totals it lowered the maximum jackpot potential from the 10-15 range (through he Poconos and extreme NWNJ) down to the 6-9 range (for NNJ/CNJ) due to simply a faster moving system. If you remember the storm was originally looking more like a late-Sunday night through most of Monday event. The progressive trend lead to quicker timing. Therefore the storm started closer to the 40-45 degree temperatures that occurred in CNJ/SNJ during peak daylight on Sunday. Zone D (the jackpot zone) and G (far SENJ) verified for the most part. Zone C, E and some of F busted. Had zones C and E seen a period of cooling after sunset before the precip began then our map would have verified more than it did. The cold aloft would have over-powered the remaining surface warmth. This allowed the best lifting along the thermal gradient to shift NW by about 25-30 miles which took I-95 and areas just SE out of the snowier front-end solution and resulted in more of a Sleet to rain situation. That’s it in a nutshell—quicker timing meant a warmer last-minute setup for all the areas that busted (zone C, E, and some of F). A six hour later start and finish would have produced close to a 100% verified snow map. So what’s the takeaway for improvement? We need to consider the climatology and heavy precipitation rate dependence on any NJ storm system in March especially for I-95 and SE. Systems need to drop precipitation during overnight AM hours to get the best stickage this time of year not immediately after warm daytime surface temperatures.

Moving forward this week should be cold and dry. A broad and deep upper-level trough will have complete control of the region through Friday morning—resulting in temperatures far-below average. A weak disturbance should track through NJ between Friday night and Saturday morning. This looks warm for the lower-2/3 of NJ but could be a snow-to-rain scenario for NNJ. I’ll be following closely this week in case that assessment changes. After that I’m hesitant to say winter is over but I see no major snow storms on the horizon. Snow showers and squalls are always possible through March and even into early April and who knows if something wants to time with a transient cold snap. But for now there is nothing showing snow storm-wise. I expect warmer periods to now increase in duration while colder snaps shrink.

Monday (Mar 4) high temperatures should reach near-40 for most. Perhaps only mid-30s for NNJ elevations. Skies should be partly sunny. Winds should be breezy, possibly gusty at times out of the W/NW. Overnight lows could flirt with single digits in NNJ elevations and interior SNJ pine barrens. Teens and 20s elsewhere therefore entire state below-freezing.

Tuesday (Mar 5) high temperatures should range from upper-20s to mid-30s NNJ to SNJ. Skies should be mostly sunny. Winds should be light out of the W. Overnight lows should range from near-10 to near-20 NNJ to SNJ maybe slightly warmer along immediate SENJ coast.

Wednesday (Mar 6) high temperatures should struggle to rise above freezing statewide. Skies should be partly sunny. Winds should be light-to-breezy out of the W/NW. Overnight lows should fall into the single digits for NNJ elevations and interior SNJ pine barrens. Teens and 20s likely for the rest of NJ.

Thursday (Mar 7) high temperatures should range from upper-20s to mid-30s NNJ to SNJ. Skies should mix with variable clouds. Winds should be light-to-breezy out of the W. Overnight lows should range from single digits to low 20s NNJ to SNJ (most of NJ between into the teens).

Friday (Mar 8) high temperatures should range from mid-30s to lower-40s. This should feel mild after the prior days leading up. Skies should transition from partly-cloudy to mostly-cloudy throughout the day. Precipitation is possible Friday PM hours into Saturday morning. It might be a snow for NNJ/rain for CNJ and SNJ type thing but looks rather weak. Winds should be light out of the SW. Overnight lows should range from near-20 to lower-30s NNJ to SNJ.

An early look at the weekend indicates precipitation moving out Saturday morning just after sunrise. The rest of Saturday and the first part of Sunday then looks ok with relatively mild temps for Saturday and possibly a warm spike Sunday. Rain, maybe even some t-storms and wind, are possible Sunday PM into Monday AM. Temps would theoretically then drop again behind the cold front for Monday and Tuesday followed by a transition to a more spring pattern. No major snow storms are on the horizon and that might be it for the winter. One can never rule out snow showers and squalls through the rest of March especially for interior NNJ/CNJ. I’ll have the WeatherTrends 360 long-range March discussion posted later today. Have a great week and please be safe! JC

Download the new free Weather NJ mobile app on Apple and/or Android. It’s the easiest way to never miss Weather NJ content. Our premium services go even further above and beyond at the hyperlocal level.

Comments

comments

Jonathan Carr
By Jonathan Carr March 4, 2019 12:19