Forecast: 0-18″ of Snow Expected This Weekend (In Other Words… It’s Too Soon To Know)
Will we see our first round of accumulating snow on since mid-November? Forecasters say we may, but it's still too soon to nail down any specifics.
The forecast for January 12 & 13 remains a "volatile coin flip" according to Townsquare New Jersey's Chief Meteorologist, Dan Zarrow.
Upon reviewing some of the latest data Tuesday evening (January 8), Dan explains that data from computer ensembles were trending toward a “single-digit snowfall” event this weekend.
“So that’s where I’m leaning at this moment," Zarrow wrote on Facebook. "Again, we’re not even going to attempt forecast specifics until Thursday.”
The National Weather Service tends to agree.
“The surface low that is expected to develop in the southeastern states should not begin to strength rapidly until it is on its way out to sea off Cape Hatteras and the Virginia capes late Sunday,” the National Weather Service wrote in an update Tuesday evening.
They do say that “most of our region will receive some snow from Saturday night into Sunday,” however like Dan’s latest forecast, they describe it as a “few inches.”
However, they warn that South Jersey could see “several inches of snow.” There remains a “fair amount of uncertainty with the event being five days away.”
Reviewing our information from earlier today:
SOLUTION 1: COLD AIR KEEPS SNOWS AWAY
There's one potential track that shows the "cold air winning out," according to Dan, and this would keep the storm system both weaker (and to our Southeast).
We'd barely see any snow under that solution.
SOLUTION 2: COASTAL STORM REACHES OUR AREA
However, some computer modeling shows the storm could "vanquish" the cold air mass, and we'd wind up in the heaviest precipitation bands (and the coldest sector of the term).
Under SOME of those worst-case scenario forecasts, "we get buried by widespread double-digit snowfall possible. That's a lot," Dan told us.
SO WHICH IS IT?
So which solution can we expect: accumulating snowfall or barely any flakes this weekend?
"If the forecast does lean toward a snowy situation for the weekend (or not), we'll start adding details on timing and potential totals around Thursday morning. Not before," he explained.
"It is excessively rare that anyone can make an accurate snowfall forecast more than 48 to 72 hours beforehand," he told us. And let's not forget, we're still four days away from the potential arrival of the storm.
In the meantime, don't cancel your weekend plans just yet. And on the same token, don't start to panic as "all options remain on the table right now."
We'll keep you updated all week right here on the brand new 94.5 PST App (it's better than the weather app on your phone... trust us).