By Meteorologist John Cifelli
Much to my chagrin, a fall weekend of football revelry must be paused for an early dose of winter weathery. It certainly feels more like winter than mid November! Last night as the cannon fired at Rutgers stadium, marking the last moments of the home season, temperatures in Piscataway were in the mid 20s. This was at 7 p.m., mind you! My home weather station made a run for the teens last night, coming up just short. As I write, temperatures are below freezing in some pockets of northern New Jersey. They will remain there throughout the day as thick cloud cover will limit how warm we climb this afternoon.
This sets the stage for our next weather event. A warm front, driven by a developing area of low pressure coming from the deep south will cross the state this afternoon, increasing moisture and raising temperatures aloft. This evening, precipitation begins as light rain in Philly, New York and south and east of Route 1. North and west of here, some wintry precipitation will mix in for a brief period, with no accumulation or accretion expected, until we consider locations north of 80 and west of 287. Here, low level cold will remain in place through the night, so as snow transitions to sleet and then rain, we will find a coating of snow, and enough ice accrual to make the commute tomorrow morning hazardous.
This is an interesting weather scenario, where lighter precipitation will mean a more dangerous commute in the morning. With freezing rain, the heavier it falls, the less likely it is able to freeze on surfaces. Also, the heavier the precipitation, warm air aloft is more quickly dragged down and mixed with cold air at the surface, scouring out sub-freezing temperatures. Readers in Sussex, Warren and Passaic counties should check the radar before going to bed. The more ragged the precipitation looks, the more likely you will have issues in the morning.
With sunrise we will warm above freezing everywhere, and morning commute concerns will give way to plain rain everywhere. Tomorrow afternoon as warm air surges across New Jersey, we will actually take a peek at the 60s in some parts of southern New Jersey! Then a cold front sweeps across the state as evening approaches, perhaps with a rumble of thunder, and we are flashed back into winter. During a blustery Tuesday, we won’t break the freezing mark for high temperatures, statewide. Bundle up.