NEW JERSEY - After a cold and snowy winter of 2014, the TAPinto.net editorial staff was hoping to keep the "Winter Weather Advisory" graphics in hiding until at least December this year.
But the National Weather Service is forecasting snow that could arrive at the most inconvenient possible time for Thanksgiving travelers. The NWS has issued a Winter Storm Warning in effect from 7 a.m. Wednesday morning through 1 a.m. Thanksgiving Day. Snowfall totals from the storm could range anywhere between 4 and 9 inches in northern and central New Jersey.
The NWS forecast as of Tuesday afternoon calls for rain Wednesday morning to change over to snow before noon. The heaviest snow is expected to fall before 9 p.m. Wednesday night. The NWS statement includes this passage:
THE SNOWFALL WILL SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACT HOLIDAY TRAVEL...MAKING DRIVING DANGEROUS AT TIMES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW...SLEET...OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.
Because the snow is expected to be of the heavy, wet variety rather than the lighter, drier type, an additional threat could develop in the form of tree branches weakened by the wet snow, since not all of the leaves have completely fallen from trees yet. Also, the presence of large piled of curbside leaves which have not yet been collected could also pose issues for snow plows as well as drivers trying to negotiate streets covered with both snowfall and leaf piles that narrow the roadways.
The impending storm threatens the area on the 25th anniversary of the last significant snowfall on Thanksgiving. In 1989, Thanksgiving was on Nov. 23, and about 6 inches of snow fell between Wednesday evening and mid-morning on Thanksgiving.