Wintry Pattern Continues

Jonathan Carr
By January 17, 2022 22:04

Wintry Pattern Continues

Discussion: Just wanted to thank you all for the support and kind words! The last few articles leading into the storm were actually picked up and aggregated by Google News. I look forward to more responsible discussion about weather safety, delivering the best forecasts possible, and having a little fun with it as a weather enthusiast. So again, welcome and thank you! I think we’re just going to stay in daily update mode with two snow signals on the table this week. Let’s take it day by day…

The low that tracked through EPA (From S to N) and brought us the storm last night/this morning almost down to 980mb just NW of Maine. The highest SENJ wind gusts I saw were 67mph in Sea Isle and 59mph on Long Beach Island. I’m sure there are others. The storm went about as expected with a little snowier of a thump on the front end for some NNJ/CNJ locations. The Arctic air sort of put up a steel curtain defense before eventually eroding from the warm air advection. This was a needle-thread situation that allowed the warm layer to move in so aggressively. The trailing/steering shortwave was able to pull the ULL up the E US in a way that sucked the surface low all the way to C PA. It was a pattern-defying occurrence and we’ll now resume the active winter pattern. But anyway, that low is now to our N/NE. High pressure, centered over the SE US, is squeezing the pressure gradient over NJ with an isobar axis running NW to SE. The low and high are spinning like a baseball pitching machine (the kind with two wheels) and forcing strong NW flow into NJ. Most of the state is gusting 20-30mph with the Atlantic City-Cape May area closer to 40mph. But it’s all out of the NW and on the back side of the departing low. This flow will return much colder temperatures to the region. Most of NJ should get back below freezing by the early AM hours of tomorrow (Tuesday). A sliver of SENJ could stay just above freezing.

Tuesday looks cold with highs likely hanging in the 30s and overnight lows ranging about 10-20 N-S. Skies should remain clear with winds subsiding out of the NW.

Wednesday looks milder. After some of the recent temps, highs in the 40s might feel nice. Winds should be breezy out of the S/SW and bring some clouds in. Rain approaches for overnight hours as temperatures gradually fall through the 30s and set up our immediate weaker wintry signal.

Snow is possible Thursday from a slow and flat (W/SW to E/NE) Arctic front pushing down  (from N to S) through stale cold air. Despite the likelihood of Wednesday night rain changing to snow by Thursday morning, the surface looks warm. It never quite gets cold enough along and SE of the turnpike overnight then rises above freezing later Thursday. SENJ could stay mostly rain with only some wintry mix at times. Heavy rates would have to overpower the surface. It’s possible but less probable in this setup. Areas away from the ocean would have a better chance at seeing a full changeover to snow. Therefore, accumulations do not seem impressive for CNJ/SNJ at this point. Areas N of the turnpike could drop cold enough at the surface for stickage but it doesn’t look significant…likely just a light event (a few inches). Further monitoring is needed as we closer approach.

Either way, Thursday’s front will bring Arctic air back to NJ. Friday highs should struggle to escape the 20s statewide. Overnight lows should then drop to the single digits and teens and set the stage for the next wintry storm signal…a much larger signal than Thursday.

From about Wednesday to Friday, two short waves will enter the W US and N US and meet up in the SE US. One off the Pacific Jet and another off the Polar Jet. Their level of interaction will determine the outcome for New Jersey. A full phase like what the Euro is showing would mean a KABOOM storm for New Jersey. Less interaction, maybe only a partial phase, would mean a miss to the S or maybe a SNJ/SENJ grazer (like what the GFS and Canadian are currently suggesting). Like this last system, I expect the short wave timing to narrow by the time we are 72  hours away from the storm system (Wednesday). Therefore tonight (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday) are for monitoring and Wednesday will be time to start tracking/forecasting seriously. This could be a big one folks. If you want to see this happen, you’ll want to see the GFS/Canadian solution cave towards the current Euro solution (statewide KABOOM) in the next 24-36 hours of data which would start locking it in by Wednesday. If you don’t want this to happen then you want to see the Euro cave.

In English: The pattern remains active. Tuesday looks cold and clear. Wednesday into Thursday looks like a slow transition from mild (Wednesday daytime) to cold (Thursday AM) with rain changing to snow for many. Stickage is unlikely for SENJ but possible for NNJ/CNJ/SWNJ. A few inches possible at most NW of the turnpike. The real cold stuff then returns Thursday night into Friday morning for a frigid Friday and Friday night into Saturday. Then all eyes turn to a major winter storm signal possible for Saturday. I know you are seeing the rumors and wild model runs like today’s Euro. We’re going to have to just take it all in through Tuesday and Wednesday and see where the data consensus is then. I expect more wild runs, hype, and hysteria in the meantime (tonight through Wednesday morning). Try to stay focused. It’s a strong synoptic snowstorm signal in the favorable snowstorm period that we’ve been tracking for a while now. The K-word on standby. Hope you had a great Martin Luther King Jr. day. Stay warm and be safe! JC

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Jonathan Carr
By January 17, 2022 22:04