Here’s a Thanksgiving recipe. Mix the heaviest travel day of the year with a nor’easter. Metaphorically speaking, it’s a perfect storm. Meteorologist John Cifelli told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that the upcoming snowstorm will bring a Thanksgiving travel nightmare on Wednesday.
“Tomorrow being the busiest travel day of the year in the United States and the lousiest winter weather day of the 2014-2015 young season to commemorate it, as we do have a significant winter storm making its way up the east coast as we speak,” said Cifelli.
Cifelli said that temperatures throughout the state are currently in the upper 40s and low 50s, a big change from Monday when temperatures were in the 60s and 70s. Although it is not the typical setup for a winter weather scenario, Cifelli said that temperatures will begin to decrease overnight on Tuesday.
Precipitation will begin to make its way onto the ground as rain or snow, depending on temperature, according to Cifelli.
Cifelli said that the storm will begin in the southern part of the state and work its way up north throughout the day.
“As it makes its way up the coast, we’re going to see that begin as rain first and then eventually transition to snow,” Cifelli said.
According to Cifelli, the storm should begin as rain in the early morning, between 5 and 7 a.m. He expects the transition to snow to begin in Sussex, Morris and Warren counties by 9 or 10 a.m. He said throughout the day, the snow line will creep toward the central part of the state.
With warm temperatures Tuesday and the storm beginning as rain, snow will struggle to stick to paved surfaces at first, Cifelli said.
He expects the heaviest snow to fall early to mid afternoon and everything will be tapering to flurries by 8 or 9 p.m.
Cifelli said that the northern part of the state will see most of the snowfall with the highest accumulations in higher elevations, in Sussex and Warren counties.
Some of the heaviest snow can fall just west of the rain/snow line, according to Cifelli. He said moving that line five to 10 miles will make a huge difference between who sees several inches of snow versus who sees plain rain. The gradient between nothing and significant accumulation will be very tight, he said.
People on one side of the line could see a slushy inch or nothing while someone 10 miles away could be buried under significant accumulation, he said.