12:30pm Update: Our Storm Total Snowfall Forecast map is now available. See the map by clicking to enlarge it on the widget to the right, or click this link to view the map in full size.
An active weather pattern continues this week, in the wake of a significant (historic, in some places) snowstorm last weekend. The fast pattern brought us freezing rain and showers on Monday, and after a break on Tuesday attention will turn to a potential light to moderate snowfall event this coming Wednesday Night into Thursday. Forecast models continue to struggle with the exact track of the system, including the positioning and intensity of precipitation, owing to the uncertainties in regards to the exact track of the surface low pressure. Par for the course at this point. However, the individual nuances in a fast pattern like this one can have an amplified effect on the sensible weather. So, we end up with a handful of forecast models showing a moderate snowfall, and a handful showing nothing. After a trend farther south with the low pressure center, forecast models today have ticked a little farther north with the storm system — bringing back moderate precipitation totals into the forecast.
The issue then becomes whether or not the atmosphere will support snow in the entire area, which becomes a little shaky especially over Southern New Jersey where this is a good bit of warm air in the boundary layer to start. So some of the precipitation could fall as rain initially before the column cools and supports snow. This creates the potential for a relatively swath of snow potential from Southern to Central NJ — and potentially as far north as New York City and Long Island if the storm tracks along the northern envelope of guidance. Our new snowfall forecast reflects this, with a general corridor of 1 to 3 inch potential. The storm is expected to begin in the evening hours on Wednesday, but will be a relatively quick mover with snow ending by early Thursday morning. Stay tuned for further updates including potential watches/warnings and advisories as well as snowfall forecast updates. Our official text forecast is below:
Tonight: Partly cloudy and blustery, with a west wind around 10 to 15 miles per hour gusting as high as 25 miles per hour. Cooler in the suburbs — definitely bring a heavy coat if you’re headed out.
Wednesday: Partly cloudy early, but becoming mostly cloudy late with a 30% chance of snow after 2pm. High near 40, with a northwest wind around 5 miles per hour.
Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy with a 60% chance of snow. Low near 30, with a continued light northwest wind. New snowfall accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.