Monday, March 25, 2013

Updating This Morning's Slopfest

Today's sloppy snow will be a memory by tomorrow in all likelihood as the storm system pulls away and temperatures return to the 40's. However, for today it's not.  Warnings and advisories, as of 8 AM, continue as is but I would expect the National Weather Service to finesse the advisory and warning makeup through the course of the day today as details and specifics over precipitation will be of a "nowcast" variety based on how well those banding features pan out that they feel will lead to warning criteria snowfall.  Some of the warning areas may very well be tweaked back through the course of the day depending on how things play out.  As of 8 AM, the bulk of steadier and heavier precipitation is falling across New Jersey, with lighter to steadier levels of snow falling in the western suburbs.  A quick inch or two has accumulated across the western burbs in about 90 minutes' time as snow has moved in but the burst of precipitation has slackened some as banding takes over across New Jersey.

For today, given where temperatures are and where precipitation is as this system moves on in, the prospect of snow being the main precipitation type across interior South Jersey is legit.  However, it is March and unless snow is coming down at a high rate, impacts on road surfaces may be minimal given the bulk of precipitation will move through between 10 AM and 4 PM, coinciding with the peak of solar impact.  Yeah, snow may continue to stick to roads through the course of the day if precipitation is heavy enough but given temperatures at the surface will be in the 30's during the storm it will take a heavy rate of snow to get things to stick during the midday hours.  Possible...but not everywhere as most spots see wet roads through the course of the day.

The storm should probably be at its most impactful around the region during the midday hours -- snow and bands of snow will be falling through the region, with the most precipitation east of the city.  Snow may mix with rain at times as precipitation intensity lessens this afternoon so we may nudge around between snow and rain towards the end of the event once precipitation slackens up a bit. During the heavier portions, such as this morning, snow may be more common (or rain changing to snow as the shield of precipitation moves in).

Of course, east of the city will have issues with the ocean keeping some areas from being all snow at bay.  Mixing with rain or simply all rain is a probable outcome within twenty miles of the coast for most of the event.

In terms of accumulations, we haven't made many changes -- one to three from Trenton to Glen Mills on northwest, with an inch or so along I-95 where snow may have some trouble sticking through the course of the day.  I've added a stripe of one to three across South Jersey...and yes, it could be more...some of the high resolution modeling is still driving the bus of higher totals but the Euro and GFS are still very pessimistic of that occurring.  We'll take our chances, either out of stubbornness or March "sun" working it....but be aware that more than three is possible in South Jersey.

Most everything that falls today probably ends up sticking to grass. Some of the lesser traveled roads could slush up a bit, especially to our southwest this morning.

Knowing all of this, it's still a low confidence forecast and these types of events surprise and disappoint, sometimes equally.  We'll have updates on Facebook and twitter through the course of the day.