A wintry week, then a big warmup

John Cifelli, Meteorologist | January 7, 2020 | Weather
  • Light snow Tuesday night for southern New Jersey
  • Isolated snow squalls Wednesday for northern New Jersey
  • Below-average cold temperatures through Thursday night

Winter has been on hiatus for much of the state the last month or so, and that looks to continue through most of January as well. The interruption to this theme is a stretch of wintry weather beginning Tuesday evening.

A weak wave of low pressure is sliding through the northern mid-Atlantic Tuesday afternoon, and will spread rain and snow across Southern and Central New Jersey Tuesday evening. Temperatures are marginal — in the 30s and 40s — so accumulations will be limited. Interior Southern New Jersey away from the coast, as well as the 195 and Route 1 corridors could see snowfall heavy enough to coat the roads between 6 and 10 p.m. Tuesday night.

Even where precipitation begins as rain, a change to snow will occur. Look for this in southwest New Jersey — Salem, Gloucester, Camden and Cumberland Counties. This is a nuisance event, with grassy surfaces across the southern half of the state seeing up to 2 inches of accumulation, and less elsewhere. It’s a quick system and precipitation ends by midnight.

Wednesday will be one of those blustery winter days where we reach the high temperature in the morning and then it gets colder on a brisk northwesterly wind throughout the afternoon. By sunset, temperatures will be in the 20s for much of the state with windchill values in the teens. There also could be a few isolated snow squalls for the northern half of the state, heralding the leading edge of the Arctic front. Most of the state will wake up to temperatures in the teens on Thursday, and the mercury will struggle to rise above freezing during the day.

Temperatures gradually moderate on Friday as this Arctic air mass is transient and quickly replaced for the weekend. By Saturday, much of the state will be taking a crack at 60 degrees! The three days of winter weather this week look more like the exception than the rule for much of January. There are no significant winter weather threats in the medium range, although a gradual shift towards a more wintry pattern is possible toward the end of the month.