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When will this weekend’s coastal storm impact New Jersey? | Local News


Joe Martucci

Almost anything is on the table. As it typical for us, the forecast is heavily based on the exact track of the storm.

That being said, let’s talk about Saturday and Saturday night. It will be teeth chattering cold. With a strong north wind unleashing Canadian cold air, highs will be only in the mid-20s. Wind chills will be around 0 in the morning, rising to around 10 degrees in the afternoon. Bundle up and take your pets inside. 

Saturday evening should bottom to the mid to upper teens. From there, a southeast wind will rise temperatures slowly. The ground will be very cold. There are three scenarios at play and I painted a picture of what the colder timeline for that scenario would be.

Mostly rain scenario (50%): The center of the low-pressure system moves right over the New Jersey Turnpike or eastern Pennsylvania as it rides up the coast. Strong southeast winds will blow around the counter-clockwise spinning storm (the right side of the storm is the warmest side). A brief onset of snow goes to sleet, freezing rain and then rain as we surge well into the 40s. The wintry weather will get washed away quickly. 

Moderate stage coastal flooding will be likely at least one of the high tides Sunday into Monday. Minor stage coastal flooding will be around for another one or two cycles. Power outages and wind damage will threaten, with top gusts 50 mph inland and 60 mph at the shore.

Winds will wrap around to the northwest but by then, the precipitation is out of here. 

A wintry mess scenario (40%): This would mean the center of the storm is 50 to 200 miles offshore. Initially, we’d be on the warmer side of the storm when it’s to our south. So, expect accumulating snow to sleet to freezing rain and then rain.

However, winds will wrap back around to the northwest while precipitation is ongoing. A transition back to snow would be seen from northwest to southwest (think Trenton to Hammonton to Cape May). Snow would likely accumulate again before ending. Depending on where you are and the exact track, a plowable (2 inches of more) snow would happen twice.

Moderate stage coastal flooding will still be likely during one high tide. Minor flood stage would be likely for another one or two cycles. The strongest winds will likely be with the onshore winds while it changes from snow to rain. Power outages and wind damage will be possible, but not as likely as the above scenario.

The mostly snow scenario (10%): The storm tracks well out to sea, sitting 200 or 400 miles offshore. In this scenario, snow would change to sleet and freezing rain. Rain may be had along the coastal briefly. Winds would be breezy, but not damaging, coming from the east.

However, winds would turn to the northeast and north pretty quickly. That would mean a change back to snow. Plowable snow looks likely. However, this would likely be more in the range of last Friday’s snow (three to six inches) than Jan. 3’s snow (8 to 14 inches for most in Ocean, Atlantic, Cumberland and  Cape May counties).

One to two rounds of minor stage coastal flooding would be likely here.

Scenario Probabilities

Joe Martucci


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