UPDATE... This article is outdated...
For the latest winter storm forecast information, please refer to my newest weather blog post.
The Bottom Line
Sunday's sloppy, soggy, somewhat snowy storm system pretty much played out as expected. Top snowfall totals were just over 3 inches, around Sussex County in North Jersey. Only sporadic snowflakes were reported south of Interstate 78, as rain significantly dampened spirits.
That storm has departed ahead of schedule. And now we fall into a very dry and cold air mass for a few days. Temperatures will run about 5 to 10 degrees below normal.
Now our attention turns to our next storm system. It's a coastal storm — a complicated "nor'easter" setup — that looks to affect New Jersey in the Thursday-Friday time frame. As it stands now, that looks to be another rain and wind machine for most of New Jersey. But these storms are extreme track and temperature dependent — and significant wintry weather will at least end up nearby.
Watch out for slick spots Monday morning, with road conditions ranging from slushy to wet. Early morning temperatures are close to the freezing mark.
I was expecting some lingering showers to start Monday, but radar is already clear. So it will be smooth sailing throughout the day, as skies slowly clear. We should see partial sunshine by the afternoon.
It is going to be a chilly day though, with a high temperature only around 40 degrees. Winds will stay light. And again, the rest of the day should be dry.
As skies go crystal clear and winds go dead calm Monday night, we are set up for a widespread deep freeze. Even coastal and urban areas may drop below that magical 32-degree mark. Look for mid 20s on average across the state by Tuesday morning. The northwest corner of New Jersey will probably dip into the teens. Bundle up!
Quiet, but unseasonably chilly. Look for mostly sunny skies. But again, temperatures will barely reach 40 degrees Tuesday afternoon.
Only little changes. Again, we'll get sunshine and blue skies throughout the day. Clouds will start to fill-in by Wednesday night.
It will be breezy. And dry. And cold. Highs will once again only reach about 40 degrees.
At the very least, our next storm system — a coastal storm, or nor'easter, arriving Thursday — will soak New Jersey with an inch of rain. Or, if the storm track wiggles, putting us on the colder side of the storm, significant snowfall (6+ inches) could be in play. For northwestern New Jersey, at least.
At the moment, model guidance is strongly favoring the wet scenario. (The storm will carry in warm air, pushing temperatures to near 50 in South Jersey on Friday.) However, wintry weather will be nearby, so it's absolutely worth watching.
It is going to become breezy to windy too, with gusts on the order of 30 mph. We will have to watch for several rounds of coastal flooding along the Jersey Shore too.
Bottom line: Thursday and Friday are not going to be pleasant weather days.
Please understand these coastal storm setups are exceptionally tricky to nail down. I suspect the forecast will continue to firm up over the next 24 to 36 hours. And then, if and only if it's appropriate, we'll start to pinpoint potential snow accumulations and timeline. (And I'll put out a detailed snow map.)
The Extended Forecast
For next weekend — the final weekend of autumn, by the way — our weather should simmer down. It will be cold, with highs again barely in the 40s. (Sunday probably the colder day of the two.) But hopefully, with all the pre-holiday festivities going on across New Jersey, we can squeeze out a fully dry weekend for the first time in December.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.