Cold Week. Wintry Pattern Emerges.

Jonathan Carr
By January 9, 2022 15:05

Cold Week. Wintry Pattern Emerges.

Discussion: Much of the state eventually made it above freezing today with the warm front passage and warm sector. NWNJ elevations saw the worst of the freezing rain, as expected, and the precipitation will soon come to an end from W to E (by this evening).  A cold front will then push through late-tonight through tomorrow morning and usher in Arctic, high pressure-reinforced, cold air. If the data is correct, the entire state (except for maybe a sliver of SENJ) should stay below freezing from tonight until Wednesday morning, even during peak diurnal afternoon high temperature. Monday and Tuesday will both be very cold but Tuesday looks like the coldest night. We’re talking pipe-bursting/dangerous to be outside cold. This should be the coldest air we’ve felt yet this season. We should thaw out later Wednesday and Thursday when afternoon highs reach the 30-40 range, but overnight temps still return back below freezing through Friday morning.

On Friday, the wintrier pattern begins and runs out until probably ~Jan 24. During this time, we’ll have favorable global teleconnections/oscillations and jet stream patterns for winter storm development. The models have seen this over the past week or so fairly consistently in the upper levels (10-70mb polar dynamics and 250-500mb jet/vorticity dynamics). But they are just starting to suggest some wild solutions from 700/850mb down to the surface. The first signal is an extreme E coastal storm signal. Similar setups include the boxing day blizzard (Dec 26, 2010) and the recent Jan 8, 2018 ENJ snowstorm. A powerful ocean storm will be out there, and it could graze ENJ with its westernmost outer bands. If this happened, it would be absolute nailage/N flow snow bands for ENJ. However, it could easily stay just offshore and produce a cold/dry day. Part of yesterday’s guidance brought the precip onshore but today’s guidance is offshore. Either way, the storm will be out there and it’s worth monitoring. The next signal is just two days later (Sunday Jan 16) as polar and pacific jet vorts phase for a Mid-Atlantic US snowstorm. And then there are several more signals through about Jan 24. I honestly expect the models to throw down some pretty wild surface solutions this week leading into the pattern change. Let’s focus on the Friday coastal and Sunday phaser first. Until then, it looks cold and dry…much colder tonight-Wednesday AM and just regular cold Thursday-Friday.

Monday (Jan 10) high temperatures should range from mid-20s to lower-30s from N to S. Most, if not all of NJ, should stay below freezing even in the warmest part of the afternoon. Skies should be mixed with sun and clouds. Winds should be breezy out of the W/NW. Overnight lows should range from near-10 to near-20 from N to S. Single digits are possible in the NWNJ elevations.

Tuesday (Jan 11) high temperatures should range from mid-teens to mid-20s from N to S. Skies should be mostly sunny. Winds should be light-to-breezy out of the NW. Overnight lows should range from single-digits to teens from N to S with below-zero possible in the NWNJ elevations.

Wednesday (Jan 12) high temperatures should range from near-30 to near-40 from N to S. Skies should be mixed with sun and clouds. Winds should be light out of the S/SW. Overnight lows should range from near-20 to near-30 from N to S.

Thursday (Jan 13) high temperatures should reach near-40 for most areas. Skies should be mostly cloudy. Winds should be light out of the W/SW. Overnight lows should range from near-20 to near-30 from N to S.

Friday (Jan 14) Watching a coastal winter storm signal. Most likely cold and clear with N/NW winds but possibly cold and snowy for E NJ with N/NE winds. See above discussion.

An early look at the weekend indicates more wintry storm signal watching (for Sunday and the next week). The colder pattern should stick around but the wintry storm signal pattern continues to light up. If you love cold and snow, this is what you want to see. If you hate cold and snow, I know the number of an amazing therapist. Have a great week and please be safe! JC

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Jonathan Carr
By January 9, 2022 15:05