SOCCER MOM W/5 KIDS SUMMARY:
WHAT: High-Impact Nor'Easter bringing rain, wind, tidal flooding & some snow
WHEN: Precip rolls in sometime early afternoon from SW to NE, wraps up Thur. AM Worst of the storm will likely be during the evening commute in terms of trying to travel.
WHERE: Entire region
COASTAL CONCERNS: Flood Warning in effect for Thursday Morning. Moderate flooding expected.
RAIN: 1-2" across the region, most of it towards the coast.
WIND: NE gusts start Wednesday afternoon. Generally 40-50mph with gusts closing in on 60 at the shore.
SNOW: Best chance of any accumulating snow will be through western Salem, Gloucester, Camden and Burlington Counties. 1 to 4". I've pushed the 3-7" zone back west of Philadelphia.
THE FULL STORY:
When I tell ya it's been a lonnnnnnnnng few days, trust me! Not only do I do around the clock forecasts for South Jersey, but I work full-time for a TV station in New York that covers all of NORTH Jersey... the area that will be getting slammed from this storm. I'm so tired when I was brushing my teeth earlier on I wondered why the light switch didn't turn off the faucet! But I love it. I can't complain. These events come around rarely these days. My job is to not hype or blow anything out of proportion - but to inform you and best help you plan your day around the nasty weather.
Let's first look at all of our watches and warnings. Every single county in New Jersey is under some sort of something. Along the coast we've got the Coastal Flood Warning... this is where moderate tidal flooding will occur Thursday morning. For the inland South Jersey counties of Salem, Gloucester, Camden and NW Burlington, we've got a Winter Weather Advisory - which is a DOWNGRADE from the earlier posted Winter Storm Watch. I think that's a good call. Accumulating snow is still possible in this area, but it's less likely than say for folks in the pink.
The Winter Storm Warnings are posted for all of Central and Eastern PA and all of North Jersey. It's in THESE areas that I expect the greatest amount of snow.
I know there are A LOT of disappointed snow lovers out there. This just isn't our storm... If you live south and east of Hammonton, there's virtually no chance for any accumulating snow. It will be hard to even get it at this point at my home in Gloucester Twp. but I AM keeping the chance of 1-4" alive in the Philly Metro area (of South Jersey). Why is this the case?
Well let's look at some maps here for a second. I want you to pay attention to the numbers on the map. These aren't temps at the surface... I REALLY wish they WERE... but rather temps at the 850 milibar level of the atmosphere, which is about 5,000 feet above our heads. These numbers NEED to be a few degrees BELOW freezing to actually produce snow growth on the ground.
I think we manage to get below freezing EARLY in the day.... so this tells me cold air will linger at the surface at the onset making it possible for a chunk of our area to be snow... if that's true, in theory it could snow for several hours and accumulate in the areas where we've got that Winter Weather Advisory in effect.
By late evening, look at those numbers coming up. Warm air starts moving in and in any area where snow was falling we likely see a flip to a wintry mix, sleet, ice etc. This will bring down accumulations, ESPECIALLY if this sets up over I-95. You very well may reduce the amount of snow seen from Philly to potentially NYC.
After midnight you really get a feel for that warm air coming through. Any precip leftover in South Jersey at that point is rain... this model is trying to sniff out a "dry slot". Now there IS a chance that as the storm pulls away, cold air wraps around into it and another round of snow could get us into early Thursday morning...
So if you're a South Jersey snow lover, you've gotta be in a very specific area to have any hope. Most of the "good stuff" will be well north. But hey - it's 2020. Things change on a dime.
If you live at the shore, obviously snow isn't your concern. It's everything else. Rain, Wind and Tidal flooding. Let's tackle the wind first...
Looks like the winds will start picking up after 12pm. The strong gusts set in by late afternoon and then overnight they'll be bad as well. ENE 40-50mph gusts throughout New Jersey. Some gusts could come close to 60mph along the coast and that's just going to make matters worse in terms of tidal flooding.
The winds aren't a product of the storm alone. We've got an area of high pressure sprawling out to the north...so the PRESSURE DIFFERENCE between that high and the approaching low (the storm) creates a tight gradient. We see this very same scenario play out multiple times a year.
Tidal Flooding is always my number one concern going into any coastal storm...especially when said storm arrives during a new moon or full moon. Tides are astronomically higher as a result. We've got the on-shore winds, we've got the higher tides and we've got the storm itself which will come closer to the coast. That's a concern in and of itself because anytime that happens, surface pressure can drop and allow for a few more inches of natural rise. Oh! and we've got the 1-2" of RAIN that could only help tip the scales.
Looks like storm surge (additional water pushed in over predicted height) could be anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 feet. That would get a lot of the coast into moderate threshold. 6-10am on Thursday.
Stay tuned for more updates, I'll be up early tomorrow at 4am with the final verdict and to tweak any last minute things...
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