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Boom or Bust? Location Determines Snow...Big Impact at the Shore Regardless

The first storm of the season is ALWAYS the hardest...add on top of that this is technically the first real storm in over 2 years and that only makes matters worse. Trying to grasp who sees what in terms of snow is only HALF the battle. The other half is figuring out how much tidal flooding is going to occur at the shore. We live in a very diverse area. I understand some reading this will look at the map and either celebrate or pout - but it's important to keep our shore friends on your mind. Regardless of your feelings on snow, potential major issues at the coast will happen.

We talk about it at length several times that this is a tricky storm because there will be ANOTHER storm to the west of it that needs to be watched for a transfer of energy. I've seen these things fall apart QUICKLY in the past. That is why I'm hesitant to bite on the bigger numbers some forecast models are spitting out. Maybe it's just because I'm rusty having put winter weather on the back burner since 2018 or maybe it's I don't believe the models. Either way, it's important to always use your experience to try and nail these things down with HELP from computer guidance.

Here's what the "Big 3" (GFS, EURO & CANADIAN) are calling for:




They all paint a very similar picture. Heavy snow north and west of I-95, some snow into South Jersey but mainly west of Hammonton. I've said it multiple times over the past few days. The area most likely to see a plowable snow will be WESTERN Salem, Gloucester, Camden and Burlington Counties. That is also where we've got our Winter Storm Watch in effect.

It's actually rare that the National Weather Service issues a watch 3 days prior. I guess based on the model guidance they were looking at they were confident enough to pull the trigger. Personally, I would have waited another day... but that's just me.

One thing that is blatantly obvious is the fact that the gradient will be SO SHARP. By that I mean you could conceivably go from an area of no accumulation to 6-12" of snow in a 20 minute car ride. Insane. It all comes down to where the rain/snow line sets up. If its over Hammonton, which I'm kinda betting on right now, accumulations will be light if any to the east. That's why I'm going under 1". If the line is over the parkway, that means the storm is traveling farther east and therefore more snow will be seen across the entire region.

If it goes the OTHER way and the line sets up over I-95? Guess what? No snow for anyone! And that's an option. There are a couple models that are much closer to the coast and much warmer. I can't discount those. That is why my first call may look to be on the lower end. I'm not here to bum anyone out, It's important to be realistic here. It's possible I come back tomorrow morning to do my final call and we shift things around in a more favorable way. Even with the technology we have, we are still dealing with an in-exact science here.

Precip looks to start around dinner Wednesday as rain for many... snow in PA

Look at the center of your screen. See that purple/pink? That is your mixing / rain & snow line. Here's what the 5k foot temperature profile looks like at that time:

Getting there... but not cold enough for snow. You need these numbers BELOW 0.

Overnight you've got a different look though... the colder air comes crashing in and the change happens. Precipitation rate can also help that change happen quicker. The harder it's raining, the faster the cold air can make it to the surface. If it's snowing with 5k foot temps at -7 you're dealing with HEAVY wet snow coming down.

Future radar by 7am on Thursday:

Snow lingers, it's WINDY and cold in the lower 30s. Blowing / drifting snow a possibility with this one.

There is still time for a slight shift to the east... and that would be the best case scenario for snow lovers in South Jersey AND the coast because the worst of the tidal flooding would be avoided. This forecast isn't set in stone. I think we will do a final call tomorrow night.

Winds will be gusting to over 50mph out of the east / northeast and that is going to create issues with tidal flooding. That is a big concern of mine right now. Looks to be SOLID MODERATE on Thursday morning approaching Major. This needs to be watched. If the low is closer to the coast, an extra few inches of natural rise are possible due to lower surface pressure. Plus we've got 1-2" of RAIN to add on top of it. There will be several rounds of near-minor flooding through Wednesday then we are looking at the bigger ticket possibility on Thursday. Storm surge (additional water over predicted tide brought in by the wind) looks to be roughly 2.5 feet.

So we will continue to watch trends develop and as things change, I'll let you know. I guarantee there will be changes. And just because your specific town may not get any snow - that doesn't mean "it was a bust". A bust would be NO STORM... and that isn't going to happen.

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