The National Weather Service says the first winter storm of the year was “very interesting.”
“Bands of snow readily developed during the day across the area and persisted with little movement for quite some time,” meteorologist Chad Shafer wrote in the local National Weather Service’s morning update.
Forecasting models generally placed the heaviest snowfall in the wrong areas with the exception of one output on Friday night.
The NAM model “identified one of these regions quite well (i.e., the Lehigh Valley into northwest New Jersey), though it was overdone with totals to the south and east (or the Jersey Shore area),” Shafer wrote.
That’s reflected in the highest snowfall totals in New Jersey registering west of of the I-95 corridor.
Branchburg Park in Somerset County picked up 6.5″ as reported at 8:13 p.m. Saturday, the highest total in New Jersey, according to the officials snowfall accumulations reported by the National Weather Service as of Sunday morning.
Spots in Bergen, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties also registered amounts at or higher then five inches.
Despite the heaviest snow falling in an area that wasn’t expected to see precipitation to such an extent on Friday, the service’s forecast was generally correct for the Jersey Shore.
National Weather Service bulletins posted on Friday called for three to six inches in Ocean, Atlantic, and Cape May counties and two to four inches in Monmouth County, all away from the coast.
The jackpot spot was West Cape May, where five inches was reported at 11:15 p.m. Saturday. Snow in Cape May County began falling Friday evening. The second highest total was “1 SW Keyport” in Monmouth County, where 4.8″ was reported at 1:08 a.m. Sunday.
In Ocean County, a location identified as “10 NE Toms River” registered 4.2″ at the end of the snowfall at 11:12 p.m. Saturday. And finally, rounding out the remainder of the Shore counties, Mays Landing reported 4″ at 11:40 p.m. Sunday.