NJ winter weather update, part 1: Icy spots Wednesday morning
UPDATE... This article is outdated...
For the latest winter storm forecast information, please refer to my newest weather blog post.
UPDATE as of 8 a.m. Wednesday...
We are already seeing improvements, both as spotty showers exit the coast ahead of schedule and temperatures continue to spike above the freezing mark. There are still numerous icy spots and traffic accidents out there, so watch your step and use extra caution.
Spotty showers will continue to be possible through midday Wednesday. More and more, we'll see "just plain rain" rather than icy mix.
ORIGINAL POST from 6 a.m. Wednesday...
The Bottom Line
It's been a while since I've had to draw two winter weather impact maps in a single morning, but here we are. Mother Nature showing us what January is all about.
The first of these two winter storms will have relatively "minor" impacts on New Jersey. Precipitation will be spotty and light. But it doesn't take much icy mix or freezing rain to cause a slippery situation.
The latter storm system will be even more impactful, with "moderate" snowfall possible. The magic number is 3 inches, give or take. Friday morning's commute could be a challenge.
Note: The rest of this article only covers the forecast for the first burst of icy weather on Wednesday. I've prepared a separate map and write-up for Thursday night's snow: Here.
Storm System #1: Right Now
We start the day colder than expected. Therefore, conditions have turned somewhat icier than expected. What's falling from the sky is pretty spotty (spread apart and light). But the predominant precipitation type is freezing rain. (With some sleet and straight snow, especially in colder North Jersey.)
Remember, freezing rain falls as liquid raindrops until hitting a cold surface. Then the droplet freezes on contact into solid ice. Untreated surfaces can become very slippery with just a little bit of icy mix and/or freezing rain.
The biggest threat of travel difficulties will last through about mid-morning Wednesday, say 9 a.m. There are already numerous traffic accidents out there across the state, so please be super vigilant and extra careful.
A Winter Weather Advisory continues until 9 a.m. (inland portions of coastal counties), 10 a.m. (northeastern NJ), and Noon (the rest).
Once temperatures warm enough, we'll transition to just plain rain. Showers will end by early afternoon.
Wednesday afternoon, skies will stay cloudy, with some of the warmest temperatures of the week. Highs will range from the mid 40s inland to near 50 along the coast.
Wednesday night will be quiet. Mostly cloudy and a bit breezy. Look for low temperatures around the freezing mark, in the lower 30s.
Thursday daytime looks fair, although a reinforcing shot of cold air will keep highs only around 35 to 40. We'll see a mix of sun and clouds throughout the day.
Storm System #2: Thursday Night to Friday Morning
Snow is likely, with a few inches of accumulation in the forecast for most of New Jersey. To keep the forecast as clear and concise as possible, I've put together a separate weather blog enter to those wintry, stormy details.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.