Get ready: Major nor’easter to deliver variety of impacts

    It’s still coming.

    A potent coastal storm will move through Wednesday night into Thursday, threatening the region with heavy snow, sleet, and coastal flooding, National Weather Service forecasters say.

    Energy from the Pacific Northwest and the Gulf of Mexico region will collide to form the storm off the southeastern coast that will then track up the Eastern seaboard, according to John Homenuk, lead forecaster at New York Metro Weather

    Over ten inches of snow are expected where the heaviest bands form, with much of the region seeing “at least some” snow, the National Weather Service advises in its Tuesday afternoon weather briefing. The smallest accumulations are expected near the coast, where snow is expected to transition to sleet and then rain. 

    Here’s the breakdown from the briefing: 

    Timing: Snowfall starts Wednesday evening and continues into Thursday. Heaviest snow will fall during the late overnight hours into Thursday morning.
    Accumulations: The heaviest snowfall will be to the northwest of the I-95 corridor. However, a large part of the area will see 6+ inches of snow. Snowfall rates of one to two inches per hour are possible late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. This will be a wet, heavy snow that will cling to trees and wires. Freezing rain no longer seems to pose a major threat during this event. However, there could still be some sleet with this event. 
    Travel impacts: Current storm timing still indicates the Wednesday afternoon/evening commute should be OK since precipitation is expected to start after 8 p.m. Wednesday. However, major travel impacts can be expected for both the Thursday morning and Thursday evening commute. Temperatures on Thursday will range from the upper 20s far north to mid 30s south. Cold, but not bitter cold. This may help with road conditions.
    Coastal flooding: Minor coastal flooding is likely along the Atlantic coast and in the Delaware Bay and Raritan Bay. Moderate coastal flooding remains a possibility depending the eventual path of the storm. High tides to watch are both high tides on Thursday and the morning high tide on Friday. Heavy rainfall near the Atlantic coast may worsen the coastal flooding impacts.

    But forecasters stress in the briefing that the forecast remains volatile, “as small changes in storm track and/or intensity could result in a significant change in the impacts.”

    Either way, Thursday looks like a day to stay put.

    “Heavy snow, rain, and winds along the coast are expected to make Thursday a day where you will be better off just staying inside,” Homenuk said.

    Click here for the latest snowfall accumulation forecast for most of New Jersey. For northeast New Jersey, click here

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