Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Slightly Updated Snowfall Projection

Modeling for today's coastal storm continues to suggest that rain will change to snow as precipitation is projected to be heavy enough to drag colder air down through the atmosphere and transition any rain at the onset to a wet, dense snow this afternoon.  Various computer modeling all shows the 95 corridor as the bullseye zone for snowfall later today and this evening.

Precipitation should transition to snow early this afternoon after starting as a mix of light rain and snow or even light rain.  The transition will take place initially across South Jersey, away from the coast, and march northwest with the heavier swath of precipitation moving in off of the ocean.  At the Shore, ocean temperatures in the low 50's should preclude much snow from falling there and a mix of rain and snow is likely with coating type accumulations.  However, inland areas are a different story and snow is likely by this afternoon and continuing until evening.

The NAM and other models are suggesting several inches of snow falling across the region, with some six inch totals along I-95.  The Euro is also in pretty close agreement to this.  However, snow may have trouble sticking initially and with a wetter, denser snow than what traditionally falls the thought is that these snowfall suggestions from the NAM and Euro may be a bit overdone for many of us, especially along I-95.  The snow will be wet and dense and will cause impacts to the evening commute throughout the region as the heaviest and steadiest snows are expected between 2 and 8 PM this evening.

Our projection on snowfall is for 2-5" along I-95 and north into Northwest Jersey and the Eastern Poconos. Some of the higher hills in the Philadelphia suburbs and in North Jersey will pick up more than this -- perhaps six or seven inches in spots in Upper Bucks north into Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex Counties.  1-3" is likely across the far western burbs, Berks County, as well as across a swath about 25 miles to 15 miles in from the coast where mixing with rain will occur at times.  Closer to the coast, an inch or less looks likely.

In terms of winds, inland areas along I-95 should see gusts to 30 to 35 mph.  At the Shore, wind gusts could reach 50 to 55 mph this afternoon and evening.  Tidal flooding is still a concern for this afternoon's high tide and for the early morning high tide on Thursday along the coast but tidal flooding impacts should be minimal to at worst moderate...should not be on the level of what Sandy did.  However, it will still be scraping at an open wound and the beaches (or what's left of some of them) will take more of a pounding later today.

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