HAWTHORNE, NJ - Model forecasts for a winter storm Tuesday have struggled to find consensus, but as of 1:00 p.m. Monday, guidance is becoming consistent. A low pressure system moving northeast over the Ohio Valley will begin to interact with a developing coastal low late tonight, creating a messy winter storm for much of the Mid-Atlantic and New England, including Passaic County. 

Tomorrow’s forecast calls for the leading edge of the storm to reach North Jersey by 8:00 a.m., with snowy conditions developing during the morning commute. Snow is expected to fall into the afternoon, accumulating 3 to 5 inches in Eastern Passaic County, with 6+ inches likely in Western Passaic County—totals decrease east towards New York City and Long Island. There remains some uncertainty in the timing of a changeover from to snow to rain/sleet in the afternoon, and model guidance suggests a transition between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. An earlier changeover could see totals in Eastern Passaic County struggling to reach 3 inches, while a later transition might produce as much as 7 inches. The current National Weather Service (NWS) forecast reflects this uncertainty, projecting 3-7 inches for points along the Passaic/Bergen border.

Readers are advised to use caution during both the morning and evening commutes, especially if snow continues to fall late in the afternoon. NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for northeastern New Jersey, as well as a Winter Storm Watch for areas north and west of Interstate 287, cautioning about the potential for moderate icing during the snow-sleet-rain transition.

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Please refer to NWS products for the latest updates and advisories. 

Daniel J. Ciarletta is a PhD candidate in Environmental Management at Montclair State University, with a research focus on sedimentology and coastal geomorphology.  He has more than a passing interest in the geology, geography, and history of New Jersey, and is also an avid hiker.

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