Winter weather winding down Wednesday night

John Cifelli, Meteorologist | February 20, 2019 | Weather
  • Precipitation transitions to wintry mix statewide Wednesday evening
  • Rain and freezing rain ends after midnight
  • Clearing and warmer Thursday

Our midweek winter storm is concluding Wednesday evening, leaving a minor impact on many New Jersey residents and a moderate effect on others. Generally, 1 to 3 inches of snow fell Wednesday afternoon, with a few outliers with a bit more or less. The most consistent accumulations were in northern Burlington and Ocean Counties, as well as Western Monmouth. There was another area just east of Philadelphia that saw about 3 inches. It’s hard to believe that this was the biggest snowfall in nearly three months for many locations since the “surprise” snowstorm in mid-November. Some winters give their snowfall totals in nickel and dime events. This year, we’re collecting pennies.

As of 6 p.m., temperatures are above freezing south and east of the New Jersey Turnpike. For southern and most of central New Jersey, frozen precipitation is over. Temperatures are rising aloft as well, and sleet and freezing rain are now the predominant precipitation type across the state. For the rest of the night, I am most concerned about locations north of Route 80, where up to .25 inches of ice accrual is possible. It’s still in the 20s in Hackettstown and Parsippany, and I don’t think we see temperatures rise above freezing at the surface here for many hours. As warm air erodes sub-freezing air aloft, freezing rain will become the more likely form of precipitation instead of sleet. Although the storm will be ending over the next 7 or 8 hours, travel conditions will likely deteriorate in northern New Jersey before they improve.

They will quickly improve for everyone Thursday morning. Thursday will actually be a terrific Springlike day — a brief reprieve of the seasonal wintry pattern we’ve been in and will fall back into for the weekend. By Thursday afternoon, there will be little evidence that there even was a winter weather event Wednesday as temperatures soar into the 50s. Friday will be cooler, and we will look for a rain event to affect the state Saturday night into Sunday.