PARSIPPANY, NJ - Ok, it's weather time! Winter kicked off in the Nation’s midsection this past weekend enjoying a healthy swath of snow from KC to DC on to AC (while points north around the tri-state were spared, for now). Speaking of football, game time temps in KC this Sunday are expected to be near to below 0°F with wind chills of minus 10°F to 20°F (perhaps deflating even Brady's cold blooded success....yes, bitter Jets fan).
While we wait for winters wrath, mostly sunny skies, shockingly dry (get chapstick) and seasonal temps are ahead for midweek (Today: upper 30s for highs/upper 20s for lows, Wed: upper 30s for highs/lower 20s to upper teens for lows, Thurs: lower 30s for highs which remain thru overnight). Normal High/Low this time is 38°F/24°F and record high on this date is 67°F back in 1932, record low of 0F in 1957.
Ok, before we discuss the Weekend potential, we have a system moving thru Thursday night into Friday, creating a slow and slippery morning commute to end the work week. This clipper which originates off the Southern California Coast, isn't a big deal but has enough energy to drop 1-3", mainly across central and NNJ. I'll revisit this later in the week but plan for a little extra time Friday morning.
Ok, now the weekend event. Lots being spun across the preverbal weather web. I tend to ignore most prognostications and model huggers. All the puzzle pieces are coming together now (NW Ridge, proper location of warmer global sea surface temps along with pressure changes in SW pacific, negative trend of Southern Oscillation Index, state of El Niño, low sunspot activity, developing blocking highs in Canada and Greenland, and sudden warming in stratosphere leading to colder temps, among other drivers).
As for this weekend's storm, which isn't even on the playing field yet (the system arrives off the NW coast on Thursday), there is general global model agreement 6 days out of a big storm Saturday night into Sunday for the east coast. As the wave travels across the country it'll eventually be fed by significant tropical moisture combined with the coldest arctic air mass of the winter. This clash will create a sharp temperature gradient and an elongated boundary stretching from Pensacola to Portland. There will be a storm but at the moment there's tremendous uncertainty on its track here along the I95 corridor.
There will be wide temperature differences over short distances where heavy snowfall will accumulate to the west of the boundary, rain to the east and possible significant sleet/ice in between. Whatever precip falls tho, temps totally tumble from a range of the mid30 to upper 50s in spots Sunday, down to the single digits across entire northeast Monday morning! Flash freeze warnings are on the table. Any type of travel could be quite hazardous with extensive delays or cancellations but the devil is in the details for the moment.
Initial timing on precip looks like Saturday afternoon/evening ending by Sunday afternoon. At this point, it's too early to talk snow totals, if any at this point. Those who have been reading my posts for years know how just a 50mile jog east or west of a storm of this caliber across our area can translate from a foot to just a dusting or rain. Yet looking down from the space station, a 50mile move is impossible to detect. Minor adjustments lead to major changes. I will say given the amount of liquid combined with the injection of a true arctic airmass, this will be a plowable event west of the boundary. Wind and beach erosion will be added into the mix as well. Model mayhem will continue over the next few days but once our system hits the west coast, we'll have a better idea where our boundary lines up.
If the snow line happens to move west of I95 bringing mostly rain (like the 0z Euro run did last night), please don't fret to those who love Blockbuster Shutdown Snowstorms (ski country in ADK, the Whites and Greens score big time based on that run), this is the just the beginning a very active pattern of snowstorms and significant sustaining Siberian shivers, right into March Madness folks. In fact I do see better potential for the "B" word towards the end of next week along w the Mercury forecasted to plunge (possible 20s in the Florida panhandle and 30s down to Tampa). Buckle and bundle up, grab the popcorn and stay tuned!
Last but not least, we are being treated to rare celestial event Sunday night to the Super Wolf Blood Moon (our storm will be gone by Sunday night, fingers crossed skies will clear)! The total lunar eclipse begins at 11:41pm Sunday night and last over an hour. Wolff, given it's the 1st full moon in January, Super, given it's a full moon at same time it's closest to earth, and Blood which is associated w a total eclipse. Pretty cool and rare, only 28 more this century.
That's it for now. I'm tinkering a bit more on my website and hope to have it up and running shortly. Stay warm, and if you haven't yet, get your salt, firewood, tune the boiler as old man winter is wide awake now and isn't happy. After this winter finally ends and we count the last flake, buds begin to pop and birds begin to chirp, NJ will continue to lead the nation in departures but more for climatological reasons than economics this time. That said, remember, weather never sleeps!