Blizzard Warning up for Monmouth, Ocean counties; NWS says “do not travel”

     Red Bank in February 2010. (Photo: Jazz Guy via Flickr | flickr.com/photos/flickr4jazz)

    Red Bank in February 2010. (Photo: Jazz Guy via Flickr | flickr.com/photos/flickr4jazz)

    The Jersey Shore is in the bull’s-eye of a powerful coastal winter storm that could drop up to three feet of snow in some locations, forecasters say.

    According to the National Weather Service, a Blizzard Warning goes into effect at noon Monday until 6 p.m. Tuesday, covering Monmouth and Ocean counties at the Shore and Middlesex County inland. 

    “A Blizzard Warning means severe weather conditions are expected,” the bulletin advises. “Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout conditions, making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you and make sure your cell phone is fully charged. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.”

    Here’s what you need to know about the conditions the service expects:

    Timing

    There will be some impact to the Monday morning commute as snow will begin around daybreak. By the late afternoon into Tuesday morning, snow will become heavy at times, tapering off Tuesday afternoon. The highest intensity will be between Monday night through early Tuesday afternoon, during which forecasters anticipate two to four inches of snow per hour. 

    Snow accumulations 

    A general 18 to 28 inches of in the warning area, with potentially up to 36 inches in Monmouth County, according to the service’s latest snowfall forecast map. In Atlantic and Cape May counties, which are both outside the warning area, the service is calling for generally 14-18 inches and 10-14 inches, respectively. See the snowfall maps here and here

    Winds

    Northeast winds at 15 to 20 miles per hour, gusting up to 30 miles per hour, during the daylight hours on Monday. By the evening and into Tuesday, north winds at 20 to 30 miles per hour, gusting between 40 to 50 miles per hour. The highest gusts will be closer to the coast.

    Coastal Flooding

    Forecasters expect moderate tidal flooding during the Monday night/early Tuesday morning high tide along the coast. The Coastal Flood Watch bulletin states that numerous roadways will flood, minor to moderate property damage is likely, and tides and wave action will cause moderate to severe beach erosion. 

    Travel impacts/Power outages

    Snow will be blowing and drifting. Travel will be extremely dangerous due to heavy snowfall and strong winds. Expect whiteout conditions, with secondary and tertiary roads possibly becoming impassable. Power outages are possible if strong winds down power lines and tree limbs. 

    For rapid updates throughout the storm, visit Jersey Shore Hurricane News. 

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