HAWTHORNE, NJ - A wintry interloper born over the Gulf of Alaska will make an appearance this weekend, potentially dropping as much as six inches of snow over parts of the tri-state. Models predicted this system early in its development and have remained steady in terms arrival timing, though forecast snow totals have oscillated over the last 48 hours. However, a late-breaking consensus now suggests a moderate snowfall will affect most of North Jersey, as well as eastern Pennsylvania and southeastern New York.

As of 10:00 p.m. Friday night, both the European and American weather models continue to predict the storm’s arrival in North Jersey around 2 p.m. Snowfall totals, which show a wide consensus across different models, range from 3 to 6 inches across most of Passaic, Bergen and Rockland counties, with a steep drop-off in accumulation from New York City east towards Long Island. Snow is generally expected to fall between 2:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., after which a transition to rain is possible as temperatures rise through the early morning into midday Sunday (Jan. 19).

Beginning late Sunday afternoon, temperatures will begin to plunge as a cold front rapidly sweeps in behind the storm. Temperatures Monday morning will likely bottom in the upper teens before daybreak, with subsequent daytime highs constrained to the mid-20s before sliding back into the teens through the evening. A similar daily temperature profile will likely persist through Wednesday, and any snow remaining after Sunday could hold on through the early part of the week.

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In anticipation of Saturday’s snowy forecast, the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter weather advisory for eastern Passaic County. If travel must be undertaken, motorists are urged to drive slowly and use caution. Additional vigilance is advisable Sunday evening and Monday morning as roads undergo refreezing.  

As usual, readers are referred to NWS products for the latest updates. This is an informal forecast discussion, and official products should be consulted before making any weather-related decisions.

Dr. Daniel J. Ciarletta is a recent graduate from the Environmental Science and Management program at Montclair State University. He has more than a passing interest in the geology, geography, and history of New Jersey, and is also an avid hiker.

Photos by Judy Kopitar.

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