Forecast: Nor’easter departs, Thursday stays chilly

A strong nor’easter produced significant early season snowfall throughout much of the area on Wednesday and Wednesday Night, seen here in a screenshot from regional radar imagery on Wednesday around 8pm.

For the second year in a row, an early season nor’easter brought a significant snowfall to parts of the area — this time in early November as opposed to last years October event. What made this years event more noteworthy was the timing, just one week after Hurricane Sandy slammed into the area with significant impacts, damage, and loss of life. The snowfall blanketed the area Wednesday Night but also created significant problems with pressure on trees and power lines already weakened from last weeks hurricane. As the week moves on, clouds will hang around on Thursday with temperatures remaining chilly in the low 40’s for highs. By the weekend, however, warmer air will be on the move towards our area with pleasant weather returning. We could all use a stretch of calm and warmer weather, that’s for sure!

Nor’Easter Wrapup: The Wednesday Nor’easter was what we expected it to be, but colder and a bit more intense. The cold air which was able to work into the region allowed for most areas, away from the immediate shores, to switch over to snow for a prolonged period of time. Additionally, the strength of the forcing and lift associated with the storm allowed for heavier precipitation in bands of snow than forecast models were indicating. The storm turned out to be the second early-season significant snowfall in as many years. Some notable totals are listed below, with more likely to come.

  • Clintonville (New Haven, CT) : 13.5″
  • Freehold (Monmouth, NJ) : 13.0″
  • Manchester (Ocean, NJ) : 12.0″
  • Hamden (New Haven, CT) : 10.5″
  • Monroe (Fairfield, CT) : 9.0″
  • Ridgefield (Bergen, NJ): 7.5″
  • Scotch Plains (Union, NJ) : 7.0″

Winds and rain (as well as winds and snow) were also observed along the area shores, with Tropical Storm force gusts on both New Jersey and New York beaches. Luckily, despite high tides during the afternoon hours, the storm surge was relatively minor as was the resultant coastal flooding. Many areas did, however, lose power in the evening as the combination of heavy snow and wind began to wear on already fragile wires and trees in the area.

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What’s in the forecast?

Thursday: Clouds will hang around, especially early, as the nor’easter takes its time in meandering to the northeast of our area. Temperatures will struggle to climb much, into the 40’s for highs. A gusty north wind will also prevail throughout the day.

Thursday Night: Cool and partly cloudy, with temperatures falling thanks to some evaporational cooling aided by new snowpack, especially across NJ and CT. Low temperatures falling into the 20’s and 30’s.

Friday: The first hints of the impending warmup! High temperatures will reach into the low to mid 50’s for highs, with a chill still in the air. But plenty of sun will mean a pleasant day.

Looking ahead: A large ridge in the mid levels of the atmosphere and high pressure at the surface will build into the area by this weekend and into early next week. Winds will turn more southerly and warmer air is forecast to advect into the area. We could be looking at highs in the middle to upper 60’s by Sunday afternoon. Get ready for it!